After Surgical Stroke & Three Heart Valve Replacements, Kirk’s Triathlon Passion Continues!

I just received an extraordinary email about Kirk Rose from his daughter, Angela. If anybody needs inspiration before or after heart valve surgery, I encourage you to read this:

Patient Triathlete After Heart Surgery & StrokeKirk Rose – Triple Heart Valve Surgery Patient

Adam-

I just came across your website and noted that you mention Team Scar Trek of Oregon. So you know, my father was the organizer of this group and is currently on the comeback from his THIRD heart valve replacement.

Exactly three months and one day after his last surgery, Dad completed a triathlon and stood on the podium for his age group (60+).  Since then, he has competed in 12 more races (from sprints to Olympic distances) and placed in the top 3 – in every event.

Just six months before his last surgery, Dad completed the Ironman Arizona in Tempe as our whole family cheered him on.  A new bovine valve, a Dacron implant, a stroke during surgery and weeks of struggle – my Dad continues to inspire me as the bravest man I know.


Kirk Rose With Family – Thanksgiving, 2009

As Kirk recently told me, “It has honestly been a tough go, as I suffered from a stroke during the surgery and my left side has some residual problems. However, Triathlons have been a big part of my life and I enjoy the sport.”

To date, my dad has participated in 13 Triathlons since receiving his SORIN Bovine Pericardial Xenograph and Dacron implant. As part of his training, Kirk also completed 8 road runs — from a 5k to a half marathon. In April 2010, Dad also completed the 60-mile Metric Century Cookie Monster Bike Ride. Just last weekend, Dad competed in the Aluminum Man Triathlon here in Oregon. He took first place in his age group.

Sorin Bovine Heart Valve Replacement
Sorin Bovine Heart Valve Replacement

I believe Kirk hopes to someday conquer the Ironman challenge again. I hope to cheer wildly as he crosses the finish line!

Angela

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.

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  • Terry

    I wish Kirk the VERY BEST!

  • Bill

    Keep on truckin’ Kirk!

  • Joseph

    Dear Angela,

    What an incredible story. What an incredible man. The story referencing your Dad has got be the most inspirational story I’ve read thus far. Perhaps this is his purpose here on earth; to be an inspiration to all of us whom go after him into the OR. May I ask? You said that he had three [3] heart valve surgeries to date. may I ask how this was possible and in what time frame? I was under the impression that opening the sternum twice is not necessarily a safe thing to do. Was it the same valve? I must say that I am so, so impressed with his outcome. Please tell me more . . .

    Gratefully,

    Joseph

  • Katie

    That’s fantastic but I am very jealous!
    Are there any tips that you can give me…I have a mitral valve repair 3 years ago, since then have had all the wires removed and then three ablation proceedures to treat taccycardia, the last one being a year ago. Anyway, I have always maintained a certain level of fitness throughout this but not to the level I want. I had a personal trainer who was great but I have moved now and trying to play competative netball ( I should mention it is in the heat of the Middle East ) and I can’t get through two thirds without my heart rate getting above 180. I am only in my 30s…I would love to achieve what you have….any advise would be gratefully recieved…

    Take care

  • Joseph

    Dear Angela,

    Not sure if you received my comment on your dad as I have not received any response to my query about his condition. I’ll send it again: Dear Angela,

    What an incredible story. What an incredible man. The story referencing your Dad has got be the most inspirational story I’ve read thus far. Perhaps this is his purpose here on earth; to be an inspiration to all of us whom go after him into the OR. May I ask? You said that he had three [3] heart valve surgeries to date. may I ask how this was possible and in what time frame? I was under the impression that opening the sternum twice is not necessarily a safe thing to do. Was it the same valve? I must say that I am so, so impressed with his outcome. Please tell me more . . . Camelot47@aol.com

    Gratefully,

    JosephPS. I go for my evaluation today. I wish I could hear them say, No Surgery!

  • Greg Betlej

    Adam.I’ve had aortic valve surgery at 61,last dec.Recently an eye Dr.told me after an MRI.that I had a T.I.A.during surgery affecting my vision.I can still drive thankfully.Do you know if this happens often.My energy level has not returned and I am still depressed.Thanks for your site.Greg Betlej

  • kirk rose

    Greg,

    Sorry I did not get back to you sooner, i do not often look at the blog. Depression? Suffered after all 3 surgeries, and have had to deal with this constantly since the last surgery 2+years ago. I suffered a stroke during the surgery and dealing with that has been a challenge. I find that getting out and exercising seems to be the only thing that can distract me enough to get some relief… maybe other activities could do the same… but exercise is what is available to me.
    kirk

  • Greg Betlej

    Kirk.Thanks for the support.Watching the Three Stooges helps my mood.Looks like you have a beautiful family.Stay healthy.Greg Betlej

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