Danielle Is “Thrilled” With Dad’s Heart Valve Replacement Result
By Adam Pick on April 21, 2010
Waking up to a fresh cup of coffee and a patient success story is a wonderful way to start the day. That said, I just received this great story about Danielle Curcio and her father, Bill Mordarski.
Danielle Curcio (Daughter) and Bill Mordarski (Father, Patient)
I first spoke with Danielle one month ago as her father was preparing for heart valve replacement surgery. Like many caregivers, Danielle was full of good questions, some anxiety and a hopeful attitude. Most of all, I remember Danielle’s love for her father radiating through the phone.
Here is what Danielle wrote to me:
Hi, Adam – My dad, at 62 years old, continues to make a speedy recovery after his diseased aortic valve was replaced with a cow valve. His surgery was on April 5, 2010.
Dad’s procedure was done at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. A. Marc Gillinov — the same surgeon who performed Robin William’s aortic and mitral valve operation last year. Dr. Gillinov said Dad had a bicuspid valve. This seems to be a genetic issue as my grandmother also had a valve replacement in her late 70’s.
Dad first noticed symptoms five years ago when he started experiencing shortness of breath and dizziness. After a few tests, he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis. Prior to surgery, Dad would get winded from walking up the stairs.
Earlier today, just two weeks after surgery… We went for a ride in his convertible, enjoyed breakfast at a restaurant, and went for an hour long walk in the park.
Regarding pain medications, Dad is on 500 milligrams of Tylenol every four hours during the day. At night, Dad is taking a half of Vicodin every four hours. When I took Dad to his follow-up visit, the nurse could not believe he had surgery just nine days earlier. Still, Dad is moving a tad slower and being smart to not “overdo” it. He knows when he has had enough. But, we never imagined he would come so far, so quickly. Overall, we are just thrilled!
By the way, Dr. Gillinov spoke very highly of you and your book when he saw us holding a copy in the intensive care unit. Thanks to your book, my dad did not experience any surprises. Your book prepared him for everything such as waking up with the breathing tube, all the different wires, using the spirometer, asking about cardiac rehab, managing your pain medications, etc.
Considering my role as a caregiver, I also got a copy of the The Patient’s Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. The information really helped lower my anxiety since I had a better understanding of what my dad would be going through before-and-after surgery.
Thanks for everything!!!