After Bicuspid Valve Replacement And Root Repair, It’s Softball Season For Kevin

Anyone interested in a patient success story that smells of 100% inspiration?

If so, read this wonderful story about Kevin Hains which addresses soooooooo many patient issues specific to heart valve surgery. Here is what Kevin wrote to me:


I am 39-years old and had aortic valve replacement and aortic root repair surgery on October 27, 2008. I had a heavily calcified bicuspid valve.

Due to my age, I opted for a mechanical valve. My adjustment to Coumadin has been very smooth.  It is amazing what the body will endure!  After surgery, I spent 2 1/2 months in Cardiac Rehab and I have been at the gym four to five days a week since.  I am in law enforcement, am an active athlete and have played sports my entire life.

Kevin Hains - Heart Valve Surgery Patient Whe Enjoys Softball
Kevin Hains – Heart Valve Surgery Patient

It is been 6 months since surgery. Hats off to Dr. Alphonse Delucia (pictured below), my cardiothoracic surgeon in Kalamazoo, Michigan! Dr. Delucia recently cleared me to begin running again.

Last night, I was able to participate in opening day with my softball team.  This was my goal since having my surgery. I told all of my buddies (who were a huge support system for me) that I would be ready to play the shortstop position on opening day.

Dr. Delucia - Heart Surgeon

My life has returned to normal so incredibly fast since surgery. I realize each patient recovers differently from open heart surgery, but I hope other patients can glean positive thoughts and realize good things do happen after surgery.

Thanks Adam for your heart valve surgery book, your blog, and all of the inspirational stories from other readers!!!


Kevin Hains
Kalamazoo, MI

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • John Manning

    Kevin, congratulations on your recovery. I too live in Kalamazoo and am close to needing an aortic replacement. I have been an athlete all my life and have yet to read about an active person such as your self. Being 55 years old my valve choice is a toss up. I plan on having my surgery by the same cardiac office as you chose. Your story is inspirational and I thank you for sharing it. Best Wishes, John

  • Kevin

    John, you will be in good hands with that practice. If you would like, send your contact info. to Adam with permission for him to forward it to me, and I would be more than happy to get in touch with you to share more details about my experience about the doctor, the hospital, cardiac rehab etc. I wish you all the best !!!


  • Sean

    John, your recovery, like Kevin’s and mine, will probably be relatively fast and successful. I am convinced by my own and similar stories that being active and in good shape prior to surgery makes a huge difference. I’m 60, had aortic root and bicuspid valve replacement (bovine tissue) last August. I started cardiac rehab 3 weeks after surgery, and 12 weeks later I was back at the Y swimming laps and lifting weights. 6 months after surgery it was like it never happened – except for my sexy scar, of course! I chose a tissue valve because I didn’t want to be on coumadin the rest of my (very long) life.

  • Jimmy Beville

    I had my aortic valve replacement and aortic root repaired on Oct. 27 2008. Im also 39 years old. I had my surgery done in Atlanta, GA. I also chose the mechanical valve. Small world!!! I agree with you, knock on wood, that Coumadin therapy isn’t the horror story that its talked about. I bet your clicking chest has been as much of a circus freak show, as it has been for me. All my friends want to hear it!!!

  • Karl

    As a teammate and friend of Kevins, I’ll vouch for him that he hasn’t missed a beat (no pun intended) on the softball field and in life. His entire story is an inspiration for all of us and I’ve been motivated by his hard work and resiliency. Keep it up Kev! – HK

  • Kevin

    Jimmy, my friends don’t believe me until they hear it ! Then they think I have a watch in my pocket. Great to hear you are doing well.

Have A Question? Call Us at (888) 725-4311
P.O. Box 4049
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Phone: (888) 725-4311