Directors: Lindalee Tracey
& Peter Raymont
Directors Lindalee Tracey and
Peter Raymont bring us the inspirational film, King of Hearts - Dreams
of a Shepherd Boy, about the life of Dr. Tofy Mussivand, an immigrant
to Canada from his Kurdish homeland high in the Northern Mountains of
Iran. The film traces Dr. Mussivand's remarkable journey from his humble
roots as a barefoot Kurdish shepherd boy to a world renowned leader in
the development of artificial heart technology.
As a boy, Tofy Mussivand would escape the oppressive heat of a summer
night by sleeping on the roof of his home, gazing towards the heavens
while contemplating the universe and the meaning of life. Even as a child,
he was an avid reader, constantly seeking knowledge, a trait that would
take him far from his native village - first to the University of Tehran
and later, with the help of a scholarship, to the University of Alberta.
Mussivand struggled through his early years in Canada, learning the language,
studying during the day and working as a dishwasher at night. He graduated
from the University of Alberta and shortly afterwards married a young
Canadian woman, Dixie Lee. Throughout the 1970's, Mussivand held a variety
of engineering positions, helping to build the infrastructure of a modern
Alberta. Though at one time he made a fortune buying and selling real
estate, he eventually lost it when interest rates rose.
After this, Tofy, his wife and their two young sons moved to Cleveland,
Ohio. It was there where his quest for knowledge and his desire to unravel
the mysteries of life brought him back to school where he studied and
received his doctorate in medicine. Now, with the combination of medicine
and engineering behind him, he turned his attention to the newly developing
science of artificial organs, and his creative energy to creating an artificial
After working for three years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the
U. S., Mussivand was approached by Dr. Wilbert Keon of the Ottawa Heart
Institute, to head the Institute's artificial heart team. It was here
that the former Kurdish shepherd boy developed the artificial heart technology
that would become the standard for the future.
This is a story of one boy, who dared to wish upon a star, to learn some
of the secrets of the universe. Through hard work, he made his boyhood
dreams a reality.
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