Successfully sustaining its dramatic intensity for 150 minutes, Heartsounds was adapted by Fay Kanin from the autobiographical best-seller by Martha Weiman Lear. James Garner stars as Mrs. Lear's husband, Manhattan urologist Harold Lear. At 53, Lear suffers a debilitating heart attack. His recovery is hampered by a second attack, which necessitates a double-bypass operation. Though the surgery is successful, its long-ranging effects leave Lear with brain damage and a scant few months to live. With the support of his wife Martha (Mary Tyler Moore), who battles tooth and nail with hospital staffers to make certain that her husband receives the best care possible, Lear endeavors to make every moment of his last days on earth count. Originally telecast September 30, 1984, Heartsounds was produced by Norman Lear, the real-life cousin of Dr. Harold Lear.
by Hal Erickson synopsis