After Post-Operative Endocarditis Complications, Cheryl Remembers Carroll McDavitt (1928 – 2009)

Cheryl McDavitt wrote to me, “Please warn your readers of the dangers of this infection.”

She also wrote to me, “Unfortunately, my husband had another stroke and the MRI showed a mass beneath the aortic valve that was replaced. It turned out to be endocarditis and it developed into other complications. We took him off life support last night and he passed away this morning… I was totally ignorant of endocarditis. I did not know that this infection is common after valve replacement. It might be worth a discussion on your blog. I am giving the short version of a long complicated death because of a cardiologist ignoring endocarditis symptoms that should have alerted him to the infection.”

Carroll McDavitt (1928 – 2009)

Of all the emails I receive… I don’t need to tell you that these are the hardest emails to read. And, I can not fathom Cheryl’s strength to think about the well-being of other patients and caregivers during this time. Again, Cheryl writes to me, “Please warn your readers of the dangers of this infection.”

Thankfully, Cheryl also shared several loving memories of Carroll McDavitt, her husband of 40 years who recently passed after post-operative complications related to endocarditis. In her email, she wrote:

  • He was a vibrant Scotsman who played snare drum with the Jacksonville Pipes & Drums for years until he retired to have a wee dram of Scotch on the sidelines instead.
  • He was also in touch in with his inner cowboy and never missed a chance to watch Lonesome Dove.
  • It is difficult to contemplate a life without my best friend of over 40 years. Carroll always said his epitaph should read “here lies a lucky man”. We, who were blessed to be part of his journey, were the lucky ones.
  • He’s the handsome devil on the left (pictured below). The band will be playing at the Celebration of his life on July 25, 2009 – a day of jazz, Latin, blue grass and Celtic music, laughing at jokes, telling stories and toasting a man who graced all our lives.

In closing, Cheryl notes, “Continue your good work Adam and let people know to listen to their bodies (Carroll kept saying something was wrong) and watch for any signs of endocarditis.”

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Carroll McDavitt.

My thoughts and prayers are with Carroll’s friends and family.

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

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