A Black Man, A White Woman, A Heart Transplant and A True Love Story
Racism in America in the best of times is like a cancerous organism, gurgling just below the surface of public consciousness, like a pot of water on a stove, over a manageable medium-low heat.
New York Times best-selling author Mitchell Fink traces the concurrent stories of Robert Dunn and Dorothy Moore. Dunn experienced hatred and bigotry from an early age as the youngest member of the first black family to move into a Queens, New York neighborhood inhabited mostly by white Irish-Catholics. At precisely the same time, Moore was being abandoned by her Irish-Catholic parents and left to grow up in an orphanage.
These two extraordinary stories became one in the spring of 1998 when the world-renown heart surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz, implanted Dorothy Moore’s heart into Robert Dunn’s chest.
The compelling events prior to the transplant, and the terror Robert Dunn walked through once he realized his life was saved by a white woman who may have grown up among the same kind of people who brutalized him as a child, is what led to his transformation as a man and his true Change of Heart.
Robert Dunn lived long enough to experience unconditional acceptance by the family of Dorothy Moore. Not only did he grow to fall in love with his donor, he actually died protecting her heart rather than face another human heart transplant. How Robert Dunn and Dorothy Moore each lived and died is what elevates Change of Heart to a new level of racial healing and understanding. It is ultimately a lesson on how racism can end tomorrow, even if it has to be at the rate of one person at a time.
At the time of his death, Robert Dunn and Mitchell Fink were working on Change of Heart together. The families of Robert and Dorothy all insisted that Mitchell see this book through to completion.