After Double Heart Valve Repair, Cindy Hikes The Grand Tetons!

Cindy just sent me this great email. Given her unique story, I thought you might really enjoy it.

Hi Adam,

I have written you before about the recovery from heart valve surgery. We exchanged emails about when you really felt healed. Last year, I had mitral and tricuspid valve repair by Dr. David Adams in New York — even though I live in California.

We just returned from our summer vacation in Jackson, Wyoming. While I’ve been there many times, this experience was SO different!!!

Cindy & Rich Tarver, Double Heart Valve Repair Patient, Hiking at 7,000 Feet Post-op

I was able to hike and SEE lakes that I never could see before! Prior to surgery, the altitude was too much for my severely damaged valve.  (So you know, I’ve had problems with mitral valve prolapse since childhood, gradually getting to the point of 100% mitral regurgitation with calcified leaflets.)

This year, I was hiking at 7,000 feet with NO shortness of breath!

It was AMAZING! I’ve never had my feet hurt or my legs get tired before! On previous hikes, I was always on the verge of passing out before any muscle soreness could set in. This was absolute Heaven. It was so GRATIFYING to ENJOY hiking!!  I’m 57 but I felt like a teenager with my “new” heart! I know for sure that I am now healed!

Thanks for all the success stories you share.  After reading the story about Don flying rescue dogs to new homes, I would like to share that I have successfully trained two puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. All services to the blind client are free. The first puppy I raised graduated this past April and is now a working guide dog in Wyoming. During the graduation (shown below), the trainers hand the dog over to the visually impaired person. It is a very humbling and fulfilling ceremony. Usually, there is not a dry eye anywhere in sight!

I started training another dog just two months after surgery. That dog just finished the top level of professional training and is awaiting a partner. Next, I will be getting a 12-week old pup in early September to begin the twelve-month training process.

Needless to say… Life IS good.

I must pay homage to Dr. David Adams at Mount Sinai for fixing my heart. I have no murmur and no regurgitation after a very difficult surgery,  The surgery was expected to be four hours long. The surgery took over eight hours. Bless Dr. Adams and his team for their high standards. I really wanted a repair instead of a replacement. He did it! That allowed me to avoid Coumadin. Now, I can continue living my life — caring for, training and riding horses.

Dr. David Adams, Cindy’s Heart Surgeon

Thanks to YOU for your heart valve book and your ongoing support!!!


Best Regards,
Cindy Tarver

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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