Mark’s Incredible Ride For The Make-A-Wish Foundation

There really is nothing better than waking up in the morning, turning on the computer, clicking my email inbox and receiving a patient success story from one of my readers.

The story below comes from Mark Hurst in Michigan. As you can read, Mark did not let heart valve surgery inhibit his altruistic bike ride for a Make-A-Wish Foundation charity event. If you’re looking for some inspiration, please continue reading:

Hi, Adam –

I am 41 years old, and (quite suddenly) had aortic valve and aortic root replacement on March 30, 2009.

When I was initially diagnosed with severe congenital aortic dilation and scheduled for near immediate surgery (3 days later), one of the first resources I found was your website.  The information on the site really helped me get oriented to and educated about what was happening to me. It also gave me hope that full recovery is very possible.

Mark Hurst Bike Rides 300 Miles After Aortic Valve Replacement
Mark Hurst – Heart Valve Replacement Patient

Prior to my surgical episode, I was already registered to ride the Michigan Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour in July. We bike ride for 3 days, 100 miles per day.  I immediately wrote-off the event after surgery during the early part of my recovery. But, a few weeks later, on a night that I couldn’t sleep, I had a “well, not so fast” moment.

Long story short, through your experience, you helped me change my mindset and give the ride a try – if I could get back on a real bike by June, among other medical milestones.

Last weekend was the event, and, 116 days post-op, I am happy to say I was able to complete my first 100-mile century ride on a bicycle. And then another.

Thank you again for all the great information! I hope you are continuing to enjoy great health!

Mark Hurst
(Michigan)

P.S. I read your heart valve surgery book post-surgery. Besides gaining additional insights myself, the main beneficiary may be my younger brother.  He is 10 years younger than I am, and came up from Tennessee during my episode.  When he went home, he scheduled an echo due to to the genetic aspects of valvular disease, and his aorta is dilated to 4.7cm.  He is now on Beta blockers and on a 3-month monitoring schedule. He will be more prepared to deal with this than I was (and hopefully, minimally invasive technology will be ready when he needs the surgery).

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 HeartValveSurgery.com.

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.

  • Chaz

    Starting my first rehab session this afternoon. Your story inspires me as I begin to return to Marathon/Century shape.
    Thank-you
    Chaz

  • John Manning

    Mark, Great job! I live in Michigan and will need a new valve also. Your ride is an inspiration and reminder of great things to come. John

  • DanGrise

    Aortic Valve replacement coming up on Sept. 8th. Bi-Cuspid valve, thought I had 10 -20 good years, but change is a happening. So, I just find this out last week, and off we go. I really appreciate all the insight I’ve received through the book, the blogs and all the willingness the cardio-care profession has opened up with. I met with my Surgeon last week and I’m contemplating the valve choices…wow!
    Thanks to so many for the willingness and grace to share. Oh, I also bought the best bicycle of my life in July. My wife and I were beginning to train for some century rides in the spring, but maybe later. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, much needed to overcome doubt, fear, and the angst of depression. Way to go Mark Hurst…you’re a Champion…God Bless.

  • Mark Hurst

    Thanks for your comments and kind words. John and Dan, I wish you all the best in your upcoming surgeries and recoveries. Chaz, good luck to you in rehab. I found cardiac rehab to be a great experience.

    Mark

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