After Mitral Valve Replacement, Don Flies Hooch To Safety

Some really interesting patient stories continue to fill up my inbox. Here’s a great one from Don about his new mission saving dogs after mitral valve replacement.

Don Hull, Heart Valve Replacement Patient, With Hooch

Hey Adam,

I recently regained my Special Issuance Class III FAA medical certificate which allows me to fly my airplane as a private pilot again.  I had an Edwards Bovine tissue mitral valve placed in April 2009 and had to wait at least six months before beginning the rigorous physical testing to regain my FAA medical certificate.

The certificate was awarded to me in late June of this year.

One week later, I received a Pilots ‘n Paws ( request to rescue a 5 year old Boston Terrier from an animal shelter in Kentucky and relocate him to a Boston Terrier rescue group in Alabama.  Above, you’ll find a photo of “Hooch”  after the flight.  He has a pleasant personality and is deserving of living many more years. I hope I am too!

Life has never been better after my mitral valve replacement surgery! Thanks for your heart valve book and your web site.

Don Hull
Decatur, Alabama

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

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  • Midge

    Don, congratulations on getting your medical certification so you can get back into the skies. I live in Mojave, Ca. (home of the first private spaceflight) and although I’m not a flier, many of the people in this area are and I know how highly they value being able to fly. We have such beautiful wide-open blue skies that everybody likes to fly in and out of Mojave. I also appreciate your work with Pilots N Paws…you have the means to make a difference to our animal friends and you are doing it, so that makes you one good guy in my book. Thank you so much!


  • dr.vipul

    hello sir
    my uncle is having severe mitral stenosis,and advised for MITRAL VALVE REPLACEMENT very soon.
    and i want to know whether ayurveda can work in mitral stenosis so that we can avoid surgery.
    i have took some ayurvedic doctor’s references but all are confusing me.
    somebody says ayurveda definately will work on it and smbdy says ayurveda useless in mitral stenosis.
    so sir plz advise me whether my uncle shud go for valve repcment surgery or not?

    my uncle is having history of hysteria,rheumatic heart disease……and recentley he has gone under embolic stroke..

    and sir, MVR(MITRAL VALVE REPLACEMENT) surgery is safe?

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