Happy 3rd Anniversary To… Me!

By Adam Pick on December 21, 2008

It’s almost impossible to think that exactly three years ago today…

At this precise moment in time… 10:08am.

I was laying on an operating table having my aortic heart valve replaced.




If you are curious, here is a picture of what I looked like 3 years ago. I asked my wife, Robyn, to take this picture after the bulky ventilator tube was removed from my throat in the intensive care unit.



My mind is now racing as I think about all that has changed since my open heart surgery. To appreciate this moment, I am taking several deep breaths to consider life after Dr. Vaughn Starnes fixed my heart at USC Medical Center on December 21, 2005.

Here are some of the most memorable highlights since my cardiac surgery:

Robyn and I were engaged and then married on July 7, 2007.



I wrote my book and began helping patients and caregivers around-the-world through this website. I even began meeting my readers (and new friends) in person – including Taylor and Michelle Browning.



I became a gardener with a passion for growing (and smelling) roses.



I introduced Robyn to SCUBA diving on our honeymoon.



I learned A LOT about the surgical processes of repairing and replacing heart valves. Here I am at Edwards Lifesciences on a tour of their heart valve manufacturing center in Irvine, California.



I traveled to over 20 foreign countries for work and fun. I even met fellow valve surgery patients in remote countries. Here I am with Mary Billings in Fiji.



Robyn and I moved into a new house together.



Dr. Ben Rosin, my cardiologist, told me that my heart is doing GREEEEAAAAAATT!!!



I returned to the Pacific Ocean and the sport I love… surfing.



My wife and I conceived a lil’ baby boy that is due in April, 2009.



I learned how to make the perfect, spicy Bloody Mary – with a little horseradish, some Worchestire sauce and pickled greenbeans. 🙂

I fell more deeply in love with my wife.


Ultimately, I am trying to inspire you or the patient you are care for. While there is risk associated with heart surgery, there is also a tremendous opportunity to live a fun, extraordinary life once your ticker is fixed!

That said…

Keep on tickin!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Laura says on December 21st, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Congratulations, Adam, on your anniversary and your upcoming fatherhood!
Still recovering from Sept. 24 double valve replacement,
Laura Robichek

Vernon Young says on December 21st, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Congratulations, Adam!! You’ve done much in bringing insightfut information to our attention and making this process so much easier. I still believe you were an Angel sent to me to provide me with the supreme confidence I needed to get through the toughest period of my life. So, it is with great joy that I say, “Congratulations, Adam!!” And it appears that “congratulations” are warranted on many fronts! Thanks for your sharing. It has been 4.5 months since my surgery… so far, all is going well.

Jim Kelly says on December 21st, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Congratulations, Adam! You are a real inspiration…not only your personal story but your ongoing efforts to help other people. Best wishes to you and your wife at the holidays!

BAV/Aneurysm surgery pending

Bob says on December 21st, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Congratulations Adam! You have many decades of health to look forward to. God bless you and yours… Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year!!!

Joe Worden says on December 21st, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Adam – A very “heartfelt” congratulations on all you’ve accomplished in the last three years! You are a great inspiration for so many people! My wife and I have just recently learned about you and are waiting for your book to arrive. I’m scheduled for aortic valve replacement on December 29th. I’m looking forward to a quiet New Year, and January recovery, and building myself up for a busy spring once again. Best of luck with your upcoming new addition!

Martin D. Goodkin says on December 21st, 2008 at 4:17 pm

And today is MY 5th month anniversary of my aorta valve replacement–I am still wondering how they could put a pig valve in a Jewish boy!!! LOL
To read my blog about today’s anniversary go to http://www.greasy.com/greatmartin

Adam Pick says on December 21st, 2008 at 5:38 pm


Thanks everybody for the nice, thoughtful comments and emails!!!

We’re turning this into an online party!!!


Keep on tickin!


Donald Henry says on December 21st, 2008 at 7:43 pm


Congratulations. I celebrated my 8th anniversary on Feb 14 with my aorta bovine valve and feeling fine. Last visit to doctor in Nov said the leaflets were mildly thickening and he would see me next year. Hoping for more technological advances by the time I will need my second surgery.
Adam, you have been a great inspiration to many people who are facing this surgery and for those who have had valve replacement surgery. Your book is a must read for all patients and care givers. Appreciate all your updates on valve surgery and sharing others stories.

Danita says on December 21st, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Hi Adam,
Congrats on 3 years! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who celebrates my valve surgery anniversary! I celebrated 5 years on 12/12/08!! I had my mitral valve replacement surgery exactly 1 week before my 26th birthday!! God is so good and I’m so happy to still be “tickin'”…no matter how loud it is! :0) God bless you all and stay encouraged!

Kerrigan says on December 21st, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Congrats on your anniversary, the happiness you are experiencing with your “Guardian Angel”, and your soon-to-be daddyness!

Roberta says on December 22nd, 2008 at 12:30 am

Hi Adam,
Happy anniversary to you and may you have many, many more years of health and happiness. You are an inspiration to us and it is great to see that there can be a great life ‘after open heart surgery.

Still waiting for AVR.

Joe says on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:45 am

Congratulations on your success. My sister just bought me your book and I look forward to reading it. I should have plenty of time. I am 32 years old and lead a very active lifestyle. Earlier this month I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and a bicuspid heart valve. I am due for surgery next month. I look forward to reading your book.

fazilat says on December 22nd, 2008 at 7:07 am

congrats and well done may god keep you well and healthy and thank you fpr all your help and insight

Doug Atkins says on December 22nd, 2008 at 8:41 am

Congratulations on 3 years!!! That is awesome! You’ve been an inspiration for me…both before and after my Ross procedure. I’m now coming up on 1 year since my double heart valve replacement and I’ve never felt better! Keep doing what you are doing…you are helping and inspiring so many people.

Also, congrats on your new baby-to-be! That is more of a life-changing event that open heart surgery…believe me…in a wonderful way! You are so blessed!

Take care!

mercy turan says on December 22nd, 2008 at 8:54 am

Happy Second Birthday,Adam!!!!

We owe our son’s own successful recovery and new life after Ross Procedure to you (for the inspiration and wonderful resources) and of course to the skill and care of our medical care providers, but it was you and your stories and your book, your pictures on your blog and your unending interest in helping other patients that really helped and touched our hearts.

You are now like a member of the Turan family! You are blessed by God.

Keep on tickin’ and blogging!

John Bolling says on December 22nd, 2008 at 10:58 am

Congratulations Adam on your aniversary and accomplishments.Thanks for being such an inspiration to all of us who have had valve surgery.

Carol Lang says on December 22nd, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Your anniversary reflection in photos was truly inspiring. Up until 6 months ago, my only “anniversary” was of my gastric bypass 3/17/04. Now I have an additional “anniversary” of my AVR 6/19/08. Since these dates have had a profound outcome on my improved health, perhaps I should start playing these numbers on the lottery!
Thanks for your continued effort on all you do for all of “us”.

Julie says on December 22nd, 2008 at 10:26 pm


CONGRATULATIONS…… It seems it’s been a perfect 3 years….and many many more to come! Jon, my husband just passed is 7th week…and doing very well. We have turned to your blogs and book for so much strength. Cheers and Happy Holidays! Here is to many many more anniversarys!!

Julie & Jon

Candace says on December 24th, 2008 at 10:23 am

Awesome 3 years-thanks for sharing! AND Many, many more to come!
Preparing for my upcoming -yet unscheduled mv repair.- Encouraging
to see and and share with you and others on the blog, and stories in the book!
May we all consider more heartfelt living and loving as our “beat” goes on!
Happy Holidays to all!

Christine says on December 28th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Congratulations upon your 3 year anniversary! December 13th I celebrated my one year anniversary. My deep appreciation and thanks for your website and book. You helped me through a difficult recovery. I am now hiking and swimming again..I sooo appreciate all of the things I love to do..and my body for gracing me with another chance to do them! I will be looking for pictures of the new baby. Wishing you the best of health in the new year. Christine MacDonald

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