Hard To Believe… My Heart Valve Surgery Was 5 Years Ago Today?
It’s hard to believe that five years ago, at this precise moment, I was rolled into an operating room at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. There, during a 3-hour procedure, Dr. Starnes performed an aortic and pulmonary valve replacement surgery that fixed my enlarged heart.
Patient, Caregiver & Surgeon Friends
It’s hard to believe that five years ago today, my life would slowly begin to transform.
It’s hard to believe that five years ago today, Robyn and I were dating, not married, not even engaged. Robyn spent December 21, 2005 watching over me, all night, in the ICU. Her makeshift bed was a rigid, wooden chair that fit in the corner of the noisy, beep-filled room.
It’s hard to believe that five years ago, Ethan was just a twinkle in our eyes. At 20 months, Ethan ricochets from one toy to the next, never walking, always running.
It’s hard to believe that five years ago, this website did not exist. Now, over 1,000,000 patients and caregivers visit this blog, Heart Valve Journals Community and the Surgeon Finder every year. It’s also hard to believe that leading heart valve surgeons — like Dr. Chitwood, Dr. Adams, Dr. Gillinov and Dr. Accola — are supporting our patient advocacy efforts!
Dr. Chitwood & Me (Adam)
It’s hard to believe that five years ago, I never really knew how great it feels to “give back”. Since 2009, we have donated thousands of dollars to cardiac charities including Gift of Life. Who could have thought this little project would help save the lives of children like Shanna Andrews from Trinidad? Or, Victor Saravia from El Salvador?
It is not hard to believe…That joyful tears are swelling up across my eyelids as I write this.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for being a part of this evolving, empowerment engine. Together, we are helping the heart valve community in ways not imagined five years ago. Together, we are helping each other. Together, we are helping ourselves. Together, we are healing.
Here’s to the next 5 years!!!
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.