My Thoughts Are With Jim, Sara & Chris…

By Adam Pick on September 19, 2011

As Jim, Sara & Chris prepare for heart valve surgery this week, I wanted them to know that my thoughts are with them and their families.



To learn about their stories, please visit their Heart Valve Journals by clicking the links below:

Keep on tickin’ Jim, Sara & Chris!

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.

Patricia says on September 19th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Good luck and best wishes for very successful surgeries all of you! Be good to your care givers. They have a tremendous job ahead of them and will be your faithful support. My husband had his bicuspid aortic valve replaced and his mitral valve repaired almost two years ago and is doing very well!

Barbara Tipton says on September 19th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

My thoughts are with them and prayers.


Ricky (a female) says on September 19th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I wish all 3 of you the VERY VERY BEST on your recoveries….Chris,I had mitro valve replacement,almost 9 years ago.
I agree with Patricia saying be good to your caregivers.For me ,it was good friends.
BUT,MOSTLY ,Be fair with yourself.If you are having a down day,DON’T BE MEAN TO YOURSELF……Tomorrow will be better.It isn’t a party,but really not bad.Just think how you will feel in 6,7 weeks….I will be thinking of all of you.Ricky(a female).

Joseph says on September 19th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

To: Jim, Sara, and Chris,

I wish all three of you the very best of GOD’S blessing during this time of need. DON’T WORRY, it will be just fine and you will see that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure it’s frightening; cardiac surgery will induce fear in anyone. But have faith and be strong and ask for GOD’s protection. And HE will not fail you. In my case, I was born with a bicuspid valve that became heavily stenotic over the last 2 years of my life. I was 60 years of age when the Doctor’s told me that if I wanted to continue playing high levels of athletics, [I’m a tennis fanatic] I needed to replace the valve pronto! I stalled for nearly 18 months until finally, subsequent to doing a third catherizationin, the Doctor in the Cath Lab at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC told me I’d be dead in a week if I didn’t take my condition seriously. Before I knew it, I was scheduled for surgery within 72 hours only because my surgeon had a cancellation in his schedule. Was I LUCKY? Positively. And I know that GOD did that because my surgeon was doctor CRAIG R. SMITH, the best surgeon on the planet. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone. When the decison was made, I was resolved because I knew that GOD was with me, that HIS light was all over me because no one gets to schedule this surgeon in 72 hours. No One, with the exception of maybe Bill Clinton. Dr. Smith’s schedule is booked 7-9 weeks in advance. It was truly an divine intervention. Let me tell you a little bit about him. He doesn’t say very much, but he doesn’t have to. Becsause he speaks loud in the OR. He’s a composer of his own magnificent life saving symphony. In his office, he is so soft spoken, calm, Kool, like SuperMan, warm, mild mannered, heart felt. And he settled me instantly because I knew that he truly had concern and care about how I was feeling. Would I die? Will I be alright? Will I have a stroke? Will I survive the surgery? I interviewed 8 top surgeons from NYC to Cleveland. Most of them treated me as though I was nothing more then an AVR. Not Dr. Smith. I was a human being sitting across from his desk. He answered all of my questions. I looked at his hands, into his eyes and I knew. Dr. Smith was the guy I wanted and the man I got who SAVED my life. When I woke up in ICU, he was there looking down at me. “You did great Joseph, you have a new valve and I expect no surprises from you, only a FULL recovery.” So incredible was this Surgeon that I was up on my toes in 16 hours; walked 878 feet and climbed 2 flights of stairs of 14 steps. The PT’s said I broke every record at Columbia. No pain, tubes all over me, my chest incision was a full stenotomy and yet I was beaming with big smiles. He visited me everyday, and reassured me that I would be back on the courts in 12 weeks. Well GUESS WHAT? I was playing tennis in 6 weeks after he released me from all restrictions. I’m now 10 weeks from surgery, walking three miles everyday and I’ve started weight lifting with moderate package. I feel wonderful, not GREAT but I’m told I’ll feel even better as time progresses forward. I sure hope so and I have no reason to doubt it. So with that, I know that the three of you will have the very same result. I wish you could all have Dr. Smith. But just ask The LORD to bless your surgeon, to be with him in the OR and to guide his hands over your heart with great love. I did. I prayed for for Dr. Smith, and I prayed for myself. On July 12, 2011, GOD blessed us BOTH. And GOD will bless all three of you. Just ask HIM. Good luck and above all, stay in FAITH. Joseph. P.S. KUDOS to Adam Pick for his indefatigable work in this area of our lives. His test became his testimonial for the benefit of all of us. Where would any of us be with out him?

Ricky (a female) says on September 20th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Just a note to Joseph, I FEEL ONE HUNDRED PERCENT the same as what you wrote.God is the one who guides the Dr’s. hands.THE BEST TO ALL 3 FAMILIES.

Adrienne Presgraves says on September 24th, 2011 at 1:41 am

Adam, I will look forward to hearing about the successful recovery(s) of all three people who you were sending special thoughts to on the day of their scheduled heart surgery(s). I also, even though my first time in writing on your blog, send my wishes to them for a speedy, successful and easy recovery. I received your book from my sister several years back when I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis and a bicuspid aortic valve, and I have followed your site over these several years, but more recently try to stay up on reading the same. When diagnosed, my valve was moderate to severe with calcification and progressed to a severe level 1 1/2 to 2 years ago. Like Joseph who wrote to Sara, Jim and Chris, I have tended not to take my condition seriously – in part due to many back complications at this point. I have been intending to write to you, Adam, and will in more detail, hopefully sooner than later, as I have given up hope with both my neurosurgeon and cardiologist, as my heart condition seems to dictate what I can and cannot do to make my life a little more do able at this point. And, I have many questions and concerns about undergoing valve replacement, even with all the information you have so generously shared and been open with. I, for now, just want to let Jim, Sara and Chris know they are and will remain in my prayers, and I want to thank Joseph for his lovely and caring note and openness that he wrote to them and is shared through this site. Adam, I want to thank you for your wonderful book, for this site, and for all the insight you provide for all of us who face heart surgery. I hope to be able to communicate with you in more detail and reach a point of being comfortable with facing and dealing with my own heart and health issues. Thanks, again, for all the time and devotion that goes into this site, both professionally and from all the people who have become part of it through their communications. Jim, Sara and Chris – Take Care! Be Well! Best wishes for ease in recovery and enjoy long, happy and joyful lives. Know that God takes care of and watches over each of us. Keep your faith strong, whatever your personal beliefs are in a higher power, especially during this time as you gain back your strength in and for life.

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