Three Years After Aortic Valve Replacement, Leo Transforms Into A “Sprint” Triathlete

There’s nothing better than opening an email and reading a patient success story.

That said, here’s a great update from Leo Hernandez. As you might recall, I first posted about Leo in 2009 after his bicuspid aortic valve was replaced Doctor Richard Shemin, MD at UCLA in Los Angeles. In his email, Leo writes to me:

Leo Hernandez - BAV Patient And Half-Marathon RunnerLeo Hernandez – Aortic Valve Replacement Patient

Dear Adam,

Thanks for using my picture with Dr. Shemin on your October 19 issue of your newsletter. To let you know, it’s been now 3 years and 9 months since my aortic valve replacement by Dr. Richard Shemin on January 6, 2009.

Even though I am now 60, I feel I am in the best shape of my life. I have participated and completed 3 sprint triathlons this past summer in Florida. A sprint triathlon is a 400 meter open ocean swim, a 16 mile bike ride, and a 3 mile run.

Now, I am training to enter an Olympic distance triathlon next year which includes a 1.5 kilometer swim, a 40 kilometer bike ride, and a 10 kilometer run.

Dr. Richard Shemin With Leo
Leo with Dr. Richard Shemin

Thanks again for your book and website!

Leo Hernandez, MD

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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  • Jim Pattillo

    That’s great. I’ll be doing a half marathon in two weeks, less than six months after AVR for a bicuspid aortic valve. I’m 38. Three weeks ago, I ran a personal best for a 5K at a 7:22/mile pace. It’s amazing what medicine is doing these days.

  • Mitch Friedman

    Well, I am not as cool as Jim (previous post). It took me 8 months post op to run a half marathon (my first, I’m 48). But I do agree with his statement, it is amazing what modern medicine is able to do these days. Great job to all of us for staying healthy post op. Leo thanks for the inspiration. Way to go!

  • DVB

    Monstrous!

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