Bill Gets Successful Aortic Root & Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery, Thanks To Margarita And Dr. Stewart

By Adam Pick on May 22, 2011

It is an unexpected privilege and honor to support the patients and the caregivers of this community.

When I started this online project five years ago, I never thought my inbox would receive empowering stories from so many people including Bill Easton, Margarita Easton and Dr. Allan Stewart.


Bill & Margarita Easton
Bill, 86, and Margarita Easton


To this point, here are excerpts from a recent email exchange with Margarita. As you will read below, Bill, her husband is now in the early part of his recovery. Margarita writes to me:

Adam – We connected a few weeks ago when I wrote you about my husband, Bill, who is 86 years old. He had aortic root and aortic valve issues. Thanks to your help, we contacted Dr. Allan Stewart who got back to us within one hour. Ultimately, Dr. Stewart performed a successful aortic root and aortic valve replacement procedure on Bill a few weeks ago.

We’re home now, and Bill is doing FINE. We traveled to New York City from Naples, Florida to have Dr. Stewart perform the surgery. Inconvenient as the travel was, I highly recommend Dr. Allan Stewart and his incredible team.

In the middle of all this, Dr. Stewart got married. Yet, he and his team — Tracie, the nurse practitioner, and Debbie, his wonderful assistant, were always available to us.


Dr. Allan Stewart MD With Scrubs & Mask
Dr. Allan Stewart – Bill’s Surgeon


Thank you again for your helpful website. Many thanks for connecting us to Dr. Allan Stewart. We are so lucky to have found him. Also, thanks for your heart valve book!


Margarita Easton
Naples, Florida

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 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 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.

Monica says on May 22nd, 2011 at 6:31 pm

What a true success story! Glad to hear Bill is doing so well:)

Joseph says on May 23rd, 2011 at 6:13 am

Dear Bill & Margarita,

I am so happy to hear of your success with Dr. Allan Stewart. I met him also and I think he is wonderful. He looks exactly like my son; they could pass for twins. I have yet to schedule my surgery only because I am NOT ready. Can you tell me a bit about Colombia Hospital in Post-Op? How was the nursing staff? Were you comfortable? And can you tell me how you decided upon Dr. Stewart for your surgery?

All the very Best, and GOD BLESS YOU both,

Joseph in New York

Margarita Bailey says on May 24th, 2011 at 7:18 am

Good morning,

As you probably know, Columbia Presby. is a huge complex…nurses are very competent and for the most part attentive. As you probably know, the best doctors are not always found at the most luxurious hospitals.

Because of my husband’s age, also he’d just been treated for prostate cancer, we knew we had to go to a major cardiac center. I did a lot of research regarding NYC as we used to live there and have family there. I knew of Dr. Smith through Barbara Walters’ special, and found Dr. Stewart through Adam Pick’s web site. When I saw that he was head of aortic surgery, read what people had said about him, and got an email response from him within an hour of my contacting him, I decided he was the one.

He and his staff are fabulous and make up for some of the common inconveniences of being in a huge hospital. From what other doctors and nurses there told me, they agree. Please feel free to contact me if you want more info. Go ahead and do it and get it over with. The anticipation is worse than the procedure, which btw does not hurt! Sincerely, Margarita

Linda says on May 27th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Its good to hear uplifting stories from post valve replacement surgery. An update on my son Tony who had his aortiv valve relaced for the 3rd time,after going thru staph infection that took out the valve.He also waited too long and had to deal with some heart failure.Thanks to cleveland clenics 2nd opinion they didnt repair the 2nd valve and will hope for no more surgery but will follow closely the new valve and new proceedure in case and keep the book handy.He is home and going for short outings(in the back seat,lap belt only).I too am going to look at the answers regarding afib.Everyone keep positive and if you havent had your sugery, dont wait too long.God bless

Garry Metcalf says on May 28th, 2011 at 7:27 am

I am about to undergo the same procedure as Bill and I consider his story to be an example. I am 32 years Bill’s junior and in relatively good health aside from the stenosis of my aortic valve, so this story has given me courage.


Garry, UK

Margarita Bailey says on May 28th, 2011 at 10:23 am

Gary, wow, you’ll do great. Bill is driving, walking, going out for dinner, lunch etc. Still gets tired if he does too much but otherwise feels well. Best of luck to you. Margarita

Mary says on May 30th, 2011 at 6:29 am

Dear Margarita,
Thank you for your words of encouragement concerning your husband Bill’s recent surgery. My friend is scheduled for valve repair surgery with Dr. Stewart next week. I am happy to hear that Bill’s surgery went well. My friend is also a prostate cancer survivor. I may not be able to be at the hospital for his whole stay. Can you advise how important it is for the patient to have someone with them? What was the trip home like for you? We will be traveling by car. Where did you stay while Bill was in the hospital? I hope Bill is continuing to recover from his surgery. God Bless both of you.

Bones302 says on June 6th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Dear Margarita and Mary: My husband is considering surgery with Dr Stewart but was surprised to hear he only uses horse valves when all the other surgeons use cow or pig valves. Did Bill choose a horse valve? Did you have any research on the horse valve? Our concern is that the durability has not been proven. Thank you

Margarita says on June 7th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Hello, I don’t know where you heard that ….my husband has a cow valve. You should probably discuss your concern with Dr. Stewart. Best of luck to you both. Margarita

Dennis says on June 8th, 2011 at 12:12 am

Reading everybody’s stories and typing this makes me feel better. I had an appointment today, bicuspid aortic valve and dilated aortic root. Doctor’s office will be calling with appointments for MRI, blood work and some kind of stress test. Doctor commented that aorta was pretty large and we may have to do something about it. I’m not one to stress but I’m scared, no other way to describe. I’m 34 and single father of the greatest 9 yr old ever. Only thing I can think of is not failing him. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what to do, I think it’s the initial panic that has me. I’m doing online research and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Dennis

Joseph says on June 8th, 2011 at 8:41 am

Dear Dennis,

I know exactly how you feel. I too have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis from a bicuspid valve that I was born with 63 years ago. I must say, it has never bothered me and I have been an athlete my entire life. Two years ago, a creep cardiologist wanted to usher me into surgery as quickly as possible because he said that if I didn’t listen to his advice, I would be dead in a week. Well, I’m still here. Do the research, and do it well. It’s up to you to know if you need this surgery now. Listen to the doctors, but question everything they say. Remember, it’s your life. There are alot of good surgeons in New York. And Columbia Presbyerian Hospital in Manhattan has the two very best in the country. I am scared also. I don’t know why, except for the fact that I so love life, and I don’t want to lose it, at least not now. In your case, you’re so young and the fact that you have a child whom you love very dearly should be comforting to know that GOD is on your side. Ask HOM to help you carry this burden. Trust in The LORD, and HE will pull you through this small “Bump in the Road.”

Dennis says on June 8th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thank you for your kind words. I’m doing research and do not plan on rushing into anything. Hope God is very forgiving for I have not dedicated much time to him lately. Guess it’s not too late to start talking to him again. I wish you luck getting through your similar “bump in the road” and thank you again for the reassurance that things will be ok.

Mary says on June 28th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Margarita, I can now join you in praising Dr. Allan Stewart and his team of fine professionals at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia University Medical Center). My friend had aortic root and aortic valve replacement(cow valve)and mitral valve repair surgery two weeks ago today. He is recovering at home and doing well. He received excellent care at the hospital. I cannot say enough about the wonderful nursing staff. They were all so caring and attentive. My friend was out of the ICU in 12 hours, had minimal pain or discomfort, and was up and walking on day two. Dr. Stewart is very comforting and reassuring. There is a large banner hanging on the walkway between two of the hospital buildings that reads” Amazing Things are Happening Here.” I could not agree more. It was an amazing week for me. My friend is blessed to have been referred to Dr. Stewart for his surgery. Good luck to all you guys who are considering your options. The anticipation is the hardest part. God Bless,

margarita says on July 1st, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Mary, am so happy that your friend had the same exceptional care from Dr. Stewart and team that my husband had. He is not only a gifted surgeon but a remarkable and kind human being. I hope that anyone who has to have a valve procedure can be in his hands.

In the meantime, sounds like your friend had quick recovery and is doing well. Bill too after 2.5 months is back at the gym, swinging a golf club and we’re going to Europe at the beginning of Sept. All the best and many thanks to Adam Pick for keeping us all connected and informed. Margarita

Eileen Sweet says on June 5th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Dear Adam,

I am truly grateful to be a new member of this wonderful community, thanks to your amazing dedication to our mutual cause. I had a recent appointment at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles last week, with cardiac surgeon Dr. Trento. I was then referred to Cardiologist Dr. Robert Siegel for some further cardiac testing. I consult with Dr. Siegel next Friday. My regular cardiologist in the valley informed me that I have valve regurgitation of three valves. This sounds very ominous, but I will wait to see what Dr. Siegel has to say about my condition subsequent to tests being authorized and evaluated. In the event I will need surgery in the immediate future, my husband has already told me that “he wants the best pair of hands on me doing the surgery and is open to traveling to the east coast.” I so appreciate you including me in your email distribution list as a recipient of this amazing newsletter and welcome receiving all future correspondence. I have literally devoured your book “The Patient’s Guide to Heart Valve Surgery.” Your research is so comprehensive and valuable! May you and your subscribers experience good health. Best wishes always, Eileen

margarita Bailey says on June 5th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Hi, Eileen… I’m sure you must have some great surgeons on your coast. If you’re not sure, I would then probably contact Alan Stewart who is now at Mt. Sinai and ask him to recommend someone. He is THE best in our humble opinion but that’s a long way to travel. We did it from Naples and we knew family in NYC so that made it easier. While not a fun deal to go through, if you can find the best in an area close by I would recommend. My husband 89, now three years from his surgery at 86, is shooting his age in golf, riding his bike a couple of miles of day and, best of all putting up with his wife, 20 yrs. younger. Believe, me I’ve had breast cancer surgery, knee placement and what Bill went through was difficult, ( not painful) but piece of cake in comparison. Best of luck to you. Margarita Bailey

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