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Jim Smith

Athens, Georgia,

United States


My Diagnosis

Mitral Regurgitation




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Sunday, March 17, 2013 04:30 PM

Great to read such an awesome report Jim! I haven't been on here in months, but as I get closer to my one year anniversary it is great to read the posts of you and so many others that I followed closely leading up to my surgery. Keep up the reat work!

Kerry Thomas

Sunday, March 17, 2013 01:49 PM

Great update Jim. So to summarize, you are not only doing great, but showing the doctors the impossible is possible. Truly amazing!!!!

So happy for you. So happy we met in NYC. Take care and hi to Donna.

-Mitch Friedman

Friday, March 15, 2013 08:18 PM

Glad you are feeling so well and that you got a great follow-up report! It's nice to read updates a year later!!!

God Bless!

Holly P

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 08:20 PM

Way to go Jim! So happy for you. I am glad we got to meet in person at Mt. Sinai and now look at us, 1 year later. Both doing great. God bless you, god bless Drs. Stelzer and Adams and god bless Mt Sinai. Best to you always.

Jeff Shebovsky

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 03:21 PM

Bless your heart ! Literally and figuratively. I

am so happy to receive this report. Keep

doing what you're doing - thoughts and

prayers will stay with you. You make a

great role model. So pleased to share in

your good news. Excellent.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:01 AM

Beautiful post honey! Can't believe it's been a whole year. God has done amazing things through modern medicine.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 09:20 AM

Congratulations and happy anniversary! What a great report.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 08:30 AM

Amazing isn't it? You are busy showing us what can be done once valve wonkiness is fixed. Rock on. -- DVB

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 07:28 AM

Happy Anniversary Jim! Can you believe it's been a year? I will just say "copy that" to your post. I am doing very well also. Would never know I ever had anything wrong with my heart if it weren't for the scar. Couldn't help but notice you have some strange guestbook entries...I did also, one reason I'm not on so much anymore, but main reason, I'm sorry to say, is that it just isn't part of my thoughts constantly anymore. Think that's the way it is supposed to be.

Well, just wanted to say happy anniversary to my surgery "partner" and glad everything is good. Please tell Donna I said hello and God bless!

Linda THE Tiger, aka Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12.

Friday, November 16, 2012 05:34 AM

Congratulations Jim on the new grandbaby and thank you for sharing your story. It was reassuring to read for me as I am now just 4 weeks from surgery and planning everything out for hotels and such as quickly as possible.

Thank you again and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Brian Walsh

Jim says in response,
Thanks for the comment. It's reassuring once you decide on the plan and the date, but waiting for the surgery date to arrive is hard for most of us. My prayers are with you and your family - Jim "

Thursday, November 15, 2012 09:00 PM

Hi Jim,

Great to see your update. Congrats to you and Donna on being grandparents again. How great it is to be fixed and see more grandkids. We have a lot to be thankful for this year! I feel the same about my experience with Mt. Sinai. Would not change a thing. Doctor, nurses, all of it...great! I sent a great letter to the head nurse there acknowledging their staff but never even got a reply (that's my only negative). All the best to you and family. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Jeff Shebovsky

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:50 PM

Just catching up on HVJ entires and saw yours (along with many of our other close friends). All I can say is way to go Jim! Glad all is well with you. Also, your comments about having a good running base have rung true. I am planning to run my first half marathon on 10/7. 8 months post op!

Keep up all the good recovery work my friend.

-Mitch Friedman

Friday, September 14, 2012 10:26 AM

Hi Jim,

SO great to see the progress. Hiking? Seriously? High altitudes and all! Amazing!

Can't believe it's been 6 months. Like you said, in many ways seems like yesterday and in many it seems so much longer than only 6 months ago. Keep up the good work.

Jeff Shebovsky

Friday, September 14, 2012 06:55 AM

Hi JIm,

You are truly an inspiration to us all, and to me personally. Your positive attitude puts you over the top. So very glad you have such good news!


Thursday, September 13, 2012 06:25 PM

Hi honey--it was great reading your latest update. You are a source of hope and an inspiration for many, including me.

Love you always,


Thursday, September 13, 2012 05:11 PM

Your updates are MOST appreciated, You're an inspiration . Sending all my best wishes. You are a great role model for all of us.

Thank you. From just one of your cheerleaders - keep up the good work.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012 05:50 PM

Glad to hear you are "fine" with an estimated 8:36 pace....WOW!!!! I can't wait to read about your first full runs, when you are ready. Sure sounds like you are doing the right thing and building slowly. Keep it up. Peachtree will be there next year. Not all of us can be Chuck!

Take care,

-Mitch Friedman

Sunday, July 8, 2012 09:22 AM

Great to see you running again and improving. Amazing to see this coming from where I saw you in the hospital a few short months ago.

This information is very helpful for me as I'm increasing my runs and so forth and I'm not an experienced runner so it is great to glean this information about how you going about it

Looking forward to more great news and enlightening info.


Thursday, July 5, 2012 03:49 PM

I too am almost 3 months post mitral valve repair. It was wonderful reading of your recovery since your surgery. So nice to know what you have achieved since your surgery. I am anxiously awaiting my first echo since surgery to see the results.

Thanks for your story.


Thursday, July 5, 2012 02:13 PM

Hi Jim,

Congratulations on passing all these milestones. It sounds as if you are beginning to get your life back to doing what you really love to do. What a blessing!


Thursday, July 5, 2012 04:50 AM

Wonderful news!!!! I am sure you are anxious to get back to your runs, but as the doctor advised, take it slow. :)


Wednesday, July 4, 2012 05:23 AM

I am so impressed with your progress and

methodical persistance . Congratulations to you. All best wishes as you continue. I do

appreciate these updates. From one of your

cheerleaders. Jan O.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 07:04 PM

Hi Jim,

Lots of info here. Sounds like the repair was successful overall. Of course there are issues to deal with. I am so glad you are cleared to run again. I am sure you are ecstatic. I was never a runner and still "ain't" apparently! :) LOL

Saturday, June 16, 2012 05:40 PM

Back to running, finally!! Great news. Although your 'slow pace' is pretty much my max, I am jealous. Good for you Jim. So glad you got a good report. Keep it up and as you well know, start slowly. Take care,

-Mitch Friedman

Saturday, June 16, 2012 06:57 AM


Congrats- on getting where your at today. You have made great progress with the EF 20% up to 47% and even though it's not 61% it really depends on how you feel. Many great athletes have a low EF, because of enlarged heart muscle from being so physically fit.

My other info on the EF% totally depends on what cardiologist is reading it; meaning the % can change any where from 5-10%.

My husband Chris EF that was read here in Milwaukee, WI was anywhere between 30-35%, but when we sent all the stuff to CCF there cardiologist read it at 40-45%, which I feel is a huge difference. As a Cardiac-Thoracic RN, I see it on a daily basis and it does depend on who reads it.

The best way to judge EF% is based on how you feel and by the sound of it your feeling pretty great so keep up the good work.

Best of Luck!

Sam Hanson

Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:30 AM

9-10 minute miles? Sounds like the start of something monstrous! It's going to be glorious -- DVB

Friday, June 15, 2012 07:23 PM

it's wonderful to read your update, congrats on the doc's ok to start running again, wow! at 3 months post op i could not drive out of town without almost passing out, let along run? not in a million years, I was too weak for even walking 2 miles.

Blessings to you.

Patricia De Leon.

Friday, June 15, 2012 04:20 AM

Jim -

Keep up the good work. We're pleased to hear of your steady progress, and look forward to seeing you and Donna in the near future.

John and Cynthia Adkins

Friday, June 15, 2012 04:19 AM

JIm, yay!!!! You get to run again! I know you have felt somewhat "caged up" not being able to for so long. I know I don't have to warn you to not overdo. You know, Jim, sometimes a number is "just a number". I know that the EF is no small thing, but I believe your "body meter" is a better indicator sometimes. I suspect you are somewhat of a perfectionist (no...Donna didn't tell me that, lol) but when you think about it...45 vs. 55% (normal), that is practically normal and it's only been 3 months since surgery. I know that if it is at all within your power, it will be "normal" in no time. Hopefully (if nothing else happens) I will start rehab next week (finally). Now...go for a run! :-)

Linda THE Tiger

Jim says in response,
"Hi Linda--you are such an encouragement! Thank you so much for your positive comments, and have fun at rehab (yes, really--have fun!).
Donna :)"

Thursday, June 14, 2012 07:32 PM

Jim, what a great journal to read! Glad to hear you are cleared for running! I'm sure the issue with the ejection fraction is concerning for you, the heart is truly amazing, the way it remodels and heals! Hopefully your EJ will continue to improve. You have a great attitude about it. Glad you can get off the coumadin and that you are doing so well! You are an inspiration to the rest of us!

Holly P

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