I am proud to announce that “Journey of the Heart”, my memoir about undergoing open heart surgery, is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The foreward is by author and basketball legend, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Remarkably moving and uplifting, Journey of the Heart is not only a primer on how people can mentally and emotionally prepare themselves for a life-saving, risky medical procedure, but a blueprint for all generations on navigating uncertainty, triumphing against odds, chasing and finding love and living life to its fullest with the backdrop of all that is Hollywood.

At age 62, tv producer, writer and brother of show business icon Billy Crystal experiences chest pain while playing golf and learns he needs an aortal valve replacement. Without the highly innovative and challenging surgery, he would die. Facing his own mortality, Richard successfully undergoes the surgery. During his days and nights of recovery in the hospital, he revisits his past and a flood of memories rush in, allowing him to rediscover the dramatic events that shaped his life.

Link to Barnes and Noble –



“I could explain to my patients exactly what was physically happening in their hearts as they faced the challenges of surgery and recovery but I could not tell them what they would be feeling in their hearts as they fought to find the hope needed to succeed. 

Richard has done a beautiful job of illuminating the emotional, psychological and spiritual journey that accompanies someone’s path through heart surgery.

This eloquent accounting of his experience not only will help and inspire all people as they face their health challenges, it helps surgeons like me have a broader perspective on what our patients are feeling and how we can be even greater instruments of healing.”

Mehmet Oz, MD, Professor of Surgery, NYP/Columbia


“Richard has been my patient for 10 years and wrote a beautiful book about his personal experience with surgical aortic valve replacement.  With his permission I have given copies to other patients and even a family member to read prior to surgical AVRs.  The content was instructive and the personal journey is touching.  I would like to comment that the medical and surgical facts mentioned are in fact accurate and took place as described in the book.

I found his memoir to be beautifully written.  It has been useful for patients to connect with the seriousness of the moment and personal and physical events that take place at the time of cardiac surgery.”

Ilan Kedan, MD, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute


“Richard Crystal has written poignantly about a personal journey that is faced by so many people. It is both inspiring and uplifting.”

Barbara Walters


“As an Orthopedic Surgeon I learned a long time ago “The Eyes Don’t See What The Mind Doesn’t Know”. It has motivated me to keep studying and exploring how the body works. Richard Crystal’s book about Heart Surgery opens all of our eyes to what really happens through the eyes of a patient! It is fantastic! Bravo!”

Dr. Robert Klapper. Chief of Orthopedic Surgery. Cedars Sinai Medical Group