Adam’s Heart Valve Surgery Blog

Get the latest news, patient advice and insights about heart valve surgery from Adam Pick, patient, author and website founder

Why Did 50 Patients Get a Standing Ovation at “Patient Experience 2019” at Edwards Lifesciences?

By Adam Pick on August 6, 2019

Something special recently happened!  More than 50 patients and their care partners traveled to Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve manufacturer in Irvine, California, to meet each other, to share their stories and drive helpful insights for Edwards, and to inspire action within our community – the heart valve patient community.

The event, which was previously called “Patient Day”, is now called… “The Patient Experience”.  Luckily, Edwards hired us to film the wonderful moments of this unique event that included:

  • Meet-and-greets with the heart valve assembly teams
  • A look at Edwards’ 60+ years of pioneering work in structural heart disease and critical care technology
  • Panel and group discussions
  • A campus and manufacturing tour including Edwards’ Heart Valve Museum

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching patients meet the Edwards employees who actually hand-crafted their individual heart valves.

Ready to see what happened at Patient Experience 2019? Watch the video below…

 


(This video was sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.)

 

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Tennis Enthusiast, John Persinger, Celebrates Surgeon with “Team Gerdisch” T-Shirts!

By Adam Pick on August 6, 2019

Shortly after sharing this post about a cow valve replacement t-shirt, our Facebook page went bonkers with over 1,600 Facebook Likes.

Then, my inbox swelled with questions about where to buy the t-shirt.  Thankfully, the actual t-shirt designer emailed me a link to his Amazon store.  Next… Back on Facebook, I started seeing bunches of new t-shirt designs for patients commemorating their heart valve surgery.  It’s been so fun to see our community come together like this!

 

John Persinger, Heart Valve Patient in his “Team Gerdisch” T-Shirt

 
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Phil Can Breathe Freely Thanks to the MitraClip!

By Adam Pick on August 1, 2019

The patient story of Phil Yalowitz is very personal for me. 

A retired urologist, who spent many years practicing at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Phil is my dad’s cousin.  So you know, my dad and Phil grew up together on the south side of Chicago and moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s to pursue their interest in medicine.  Phil and my dad had a special bond.  They acted and laughed together like brothers, so I always considered Phil my uncle.

 

Phil Yalowitz (MitraClip Patient)

 

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Susan & Her INSPIRIS RESILIA Valve Go Viral!

By Adam Pick on August 1, 2019

The support and the encouragement that the patients in our community provide each other is simply amazing!

For example, I recently posted a post-op picture of Susan Richards at our Facebook page.  As you may know, Susan recently received a new INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic valve due to a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic stenosis. Within seconds of posting her picture, the patients at Facebook rallied around Susan.  As you can see below, Susan’s photo received over 4,700 Likes, 454 Comments and 219 Timeline Shares!

 


 
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No More “Walking Time Bomb” for Tom After Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement

By Adam Pick on July 12, 2019

Being diagnosed with severe heart disease can be incredibly dislocating for patients, their family and friends.   That dislocation is often amplified when the diagnosis is unexpected and the patient is asymptomatic.

Tom Tansor – a father, husband and little league coach from Chicago – describes the unexpected and anxious experience of being diagnosed with a severe aortic aneurysm as feeling like a “walking time bomb”.   Tom knew the situation was bad.  Tom knew the aneurysm needed to be replaced.  But, after meeting with Dr. Chris Malaisrie, Tom was hopeful he could keep his own aortic valve in a complex procedure known as a “valve-sparing aortic root replacement”.

This is Tom’s story…

 

 

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11 Weeks After TAVR, Mick Jagger Wows 60,000 Fans in Chicago!!!

By Adam Pick on June 25, 2019

It’s been 11 quick weeks since Mick Jagger had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to treat severe aortic stenosis, a deadly form of heart disease that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.

During his recovery, Mick has been seen walking in Central Park and practicing his infamous dance moves in an empty studio.  However… On Friday night, Mick demonstrated – in front of 60,000 people – just how transformative non-invasive TAVR can be. That’s right. Mick, 75, took to the stage for the first time since his TAVR as the Rolling Stones’ 2019 No Filter tour kicked-off at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

 

 
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Move Over Taylor Swift! David Sets New Fashion Trend!

By Adam Pick on June 20, 2019

Ya just gotta see it… To love it.

Here is David Russ modeling a new t-shirt that is setting fashion trends from Milan to Paris to Los Angeles. That’s right. After his aortic valve replacement by Dr. Kevin Accola at AdventHealth, David took to Facebook to show off a fantastic, post-op smile and an awesome t-shirt featuring a cow standing on top of a heart rhythm.

 

 

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“Every Heartbeat Matters” to Impact 1.5 Million Underserved People! Go Amanda!

By Adam Pick on June 5, 2019

I love hearing about great people at responsible companies doing extraordinary things!

That said… I want…. I need… I must… Congratulate Amanda Fowler, the Executive Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, for leading the Every Heartbeat Matters charitable initiative.  This global campaign, which involves the education, the screening, and the treatment of heart valve disease is on track to reach 1.5 million underserved people by 2020.  The original estimate was 1 million people by 2020.

 

Amanda Fowler (right), Executive Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation,
Screening Patients in the Dominican Republic with Empowering Action

 

Reflecting on this wonderful achievement, Amanda shared, “Since the Every Heartbeat Matters initiative began five years ago, we have made substantial progress in building a global community that is addressing the burden of heart valve disease for underserved people. This year, we plan to continue growing our giving focus on Every Heartbeat Matters and deepening our partners’ impact with the engagement of our talented and dedicated employees around the world.”

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Bicuspid Aortic Valve Patient Symposium Announced for June 12 in Chicago!

By Adam Pick on May 28, 2019

Mark your calendars!

I just learned there is a Bicuspid Aortic Valve Symposium for patients happening in Chicago, Illinois on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-8pm at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

During this special live event, you will learn about the latest bicuspid aortic valve research and treatment options from leading doctors and scientists including Dr. Paul Fedak, Dr. Joshua Robinson, Dr. Chris Malaisre, Dr. Jyothi Puthumana and Dr. Michael Markl.

 

 

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2019 Atrial Fibrillation Patient Conference Announced!

By Adam Pick on May 28, 2019

As up to 35% of patients with heart valve disease are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, I wanted to make sure you knew about the upcoming “Get in Rhythm! Stay in Rhythm” conference to be held in Dallas, Texas on August 9 to August 11.

This patient conference is hosted by StopAFib.org, a great patient education website managed by Melanie True Hills, an extraordinary patient advocate.  During the event, you will learn the most up-to-date research and treatment approaches that may help you get rid of AFib!

 

 
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