In 2010, we donated $5,000 to the Gift of Life to help pay for the cardiac surgery of Victor Saravia, an incredibly cute, one-year old boy from El Salvador. The procedure — that was performed by Dr. John Morales at Driscoll Hospital at Corpus Cristi, Texas — was a success and Victor went home to his family.
The other day, I received an unexpected update from the Saravia family on my Facebook page. As you can see in the picture above, Victor has transformed from a baby to a toddler – who appears to be quite fond of the Mario Brothers toys.
In addition to the picture, I also received a note from Patricia Saravia.
In the past, I’ve filled this blog with hundreds of stories about mitral valve repair procedures. However, over the past 12 months, I have started to hear and report about aortic valve repair surgery — from patients and physicians.
To learn more about this new trend to aortic valve repair surgery, I met with Dr. Joseph Bavaria. So you know, Doctor Bavaria is the Vice Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery and the Director of the Thoracic Aortic Surgery Program at Penn Medicine. In addition, Dr. Bavaria has performed successful surgery on many members of our community including Rebecca Roberts, Hubert Karreman and Craig Fisher.
I was just surfing through Heart Valve Journals when I came across a wonderful update from Cheryl Irvine. Cheryl is a long-time journalist and mitral valve surgery patient. In some regard, Cheryl is a metaphorical “Mom” of the patient community.
As you might recall from this post, Cheryl, who lives in Ontario, Canada, organized a spring break reunion of several patients from HVJ in Florida in 2012. Well, this year… She did it again!
Earlier today, I was reading the latest online edition of US News and World Report when I came across an interesting fact about infections that can lead to valvular disorders. That said, I thought you might like a daily dose of heart valve trivia.
True or False: There is a steady rise of heart valve infections, also known as endocarditis, in the United States? (Scroll below for the answer.)