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Debbie Takes Her New Valve Back To Edwards Lifesciences

Posted by Adam Pick on April 2nd, 2008

A little over a month ago, I visited Edwards Lifesciences to tour its heart valve manufacturing museum and learn more about Edwards’ heart valve replacement devices (pig valve transplants, cow valves, minimally invasive technologies).

After reading my blog, Debbie (a recent heart valve surgery patient) decided she wanted to visit Edwards as well. A few emails later, Debbie was on her way to Edwards’ headquarters in Irvine, California to visit the world’s largest heart valve manufacturer. Considering that Debbie’s cow valve replacement was manufactured by Edwards, I guess it was sort of a homecoming for Debbie’s new pulmonary valve. :)

Debbie Day And Family Tour Edwards Lifesciences

Here are Debbie’s thoughts on the experience:

I had a wonderful time at Edwards Lifesciences. Most of all, I enjoyed meeting Somori, the Edwards’ employee that hand-stitched my new heart valve. Somori has worked at Edwards for four years. I was her first patient to come and visit!

It’s amazing that the valve she made is now helping my heart beat right. It’s also keeping me alive! I would strongly encourage anyone that has a Edwards valve to visit their Southern California facility and meet the people that make their valves.

So you know, my heart valve surgery was nine weeks ago at St. Josephs Hospital, here in California. My surgeon was Dr. Richared Gates. I had my pulmonary valve replaced with a 3000TFX Bovine Pericardial Valve manufactured by Edwards. My doctors believe the pericardial valve will last 20 years or more.

Doctor Richard Gates - Heart Surgeon
Dr. Richard Gates

If anyone has a Edwards valve they can tour the Edwards museum and meet the actual person that worked on their valve. Also in the picture (above) is my husband and daughter.

Thanks… Debbie

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Leslie Lafayette says on April 2nd, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Hi Adam! LOL, can’t help it…when I read the headline about Debbie taking her new valve back to Edwards Sciences, I wanted to ask…did she get a refund for it? :)
I am checking in with you all to report that recuperation is not always a straight line to “better.” Instead, it has its ups and downs. Here I am at ten weeks post surgery and I was doing too much for the last two weeks, jumping back into my life at a gallop. In the last few days I have noticed: a few more palpitations…feeling tired…a “shaky” feeling inside after doing too much running around…vision blurriness…and a trend toward some depression, something I haven’t had until now. This morning I woke up and spent about a half hour crying. That’s when I knew I needed to listen to my body, which is telling me to rest and respect the fact that I had open heart, bypass surgery to repair the mitral valve plus repair an Atrial Septal Defect, and it takes time to fully recover. It’s a lesson I need to learn…patience!
As always, Adam, thanks for all you do. Take care, everyone!


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