Six Years Later… My Ticker Keeps Tickin’

By Adam Pick on December 21, 2011

Interestingly… The importance of today’s date escaped me until a few minutes ago.

That is when I saw “December 21” on my calendar. I then eased my shoulders, took a deep breath and smiled. So you know, six years ago, at this exact moment, my heart valve surgery had just begun.


Cup Cake Lit For Sixth Birthday Or Anniversary


As for celebrating this anniversary, I could ramble on about the amazing journey that has unfolded since my aortic and pulmonary valve replacement surgery 2,190 days ago.  I could do my best to conjure up some inspirational words about the medical miracle of heart valve surgery. I could share select highlights from my “Second Chance” at life.

To some extent, I have done all of that in prior anniversary posts.

On this anniversary, however, I’ll simply let you know that I am a very lucky and a very happy guy.  I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to have a wonderful family and friends. And, much of my happiness comes from helping the patients and caregivers in this community. Thank you for being an active part of my happiness… And, thank you for being part of my anniversary celebration!


Heartfelt Thank You!


Keep on tickin!

P.S. If you are curious, the cupcake above above is a tad meaningful. It’s meaningful because I love cupcakes!!! After work, I’ll be going to Susie’s Cakes, an incredible bakery near my home, to pick up several cupcakes — Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Coconut, and Mocha — to enjoy with Robyn, my wife, and Ethan, my son, after dinner.

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.

pops says on December 21st, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Happy 6th!
Talk to you soon.

Jayne Goldstein says on December 21st, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Happy Anniversary!!! My son just celebrated his first annversary of his aortic valve repair. We celebrate with you.

Cindy says on December 21st, 2011 at 5:16 pm

That coconut cupcake sounds sssoooo good!! Happy Anniversary Adam!! Thanks for all you do!

MJ Samer says on December 21st, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Happy and healthy anniversary wishes, Adam! You have done a great service with your book and blog. I hope you have many more anniversaries and more cupcakes, too!

Carol says on December 21st, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Funny how we all remember our “Anniversary” dates. They can also be defined as “the first day of the rest of our lives”! I could have never endured my postop cardiac depression back in 2008 without the support of this website. It sure was encouraging to know I wasn’t going crazy! Happy Anniversary Adam & enjoy those cupcakes with your beautiful family.

Gene says on December 21st, 2011 at 5:49 pm

You’re the man, Adam! Congratulations, and thanks for all you do for those of us who follow heart valve issues.

Tony Fumo says on December 21st, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Adam your the best,i will need surgery someday but with you around i am not the slightest bit worried.Tony Franklinville,NJ

Jeff says on December 21st, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Congratulations! May you have many many more…

Loren says on December 21st, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I celebrated 3 weeks post mitral repair surgery on Monday. I can only imagine what 6 years might be like. I can hardly wait! 🙂 Blessings on you Adam and family. I trust you have a great Christmas together.

sarah harnett says on December 21st, 2011 at 7:14 pm

oh, happy day! congrats, adam. as i celebrated “1 week” today, i thought of you and your anniversary. how special. thanks again for all you do for so many. enjoy the time with your family.

Roberta says on December 21st, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Happy Valversary to you Adam! Thanks for all you do to help those undergoing heart valve procedures. Wishing you many more years of ‘tickin’!

Christine says on December 21st, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Happy anniversary Adam, I wish you many many more additional 6th anniversary! Having found your book and your blog as been one of the important thing for me this year, as I will have a mitral valve repair very soon in January… Happy anniversary and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

ruthmcc says on December 21st, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Thanks for all you information Adam it was priceless when my 50 y/o son was having AVR, its been a year and 7 months. he’s now retired after 30 years in the Police force. Just had gall bladder surgery
which was a concern with the coumadin. but its been 3 days now,he went into surgery at 12.30 pm and was home by 4pm. ,His INR is at 1.3 but he has been back on coumadin since day of surgery after 5 days without so hopfully it will begin to rise soon.
Happy and Healthy new year to everyone

Michael Baity says on December 21st, 2011 at 8:07 pm


Go Blue! Second chances need to be appreciated every day. Everyone should be grateful for life, but those of us who have had the privilege to have heart valve surgery are truly fortunate. I had my aortic valve surgery two years ago at Cleveland Clinic, and have never felt so blessed. My Dad who died at age 53 in 1951 died before such procedures were possible.

Thanks for reminding me how fortunate I am and thanks for everything you have done for heart patients around the world.

Michael Baity

Lynda Knopf BS/RN says on December 21st, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Happy postop surgical 6th ANNIVERSARY!Your appreciation of LIFE and WONDERFUL BLESSINGS, your wife and son, is commendable!.Cardiac surgical offerings are today’s MARVELOUS MIRACLES!As a young man you have many years ahead to enjoy/thrive well!NO DOUBT you will forever take good care of yourself via routine exercise/doctor-ing,good nutrition,medication compliance,relaxation time & LOTS of LOVE and CARING for everyone and everything in LIVING.Your million+ blog members are tenderly touched by your SINCERE DESIRE to keep us educationally current & supported without fees.We eagerly await your blog notations. We wish everyone to”KEEP ON TICKING”!!!

Nancy Frazee says on December 21st, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Congratulations Adam! I have followed your blog since before my aeortic valve replacement in May of 2009. We both did so well!!!
My cardiologist is keeping a close eye on the mitreal valve–hopefully I won’t have to go through that surgery again. My experience at Brigham and Womens in Boston was wonderful however–Dr. Prem Shakar—part of Harvard’s Team Heart.

zafar says on December 21st, 2011 at 9:46 pm

May you celebrate for 100 of years. Thanks for supporting heart valve patients.

Mark Reid says on December 21st, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Happy 6th Anniversary Adam!!!!!

I’d like to take this opportunity to say it is not only the patients and caregivers in your community that appreciates all of the time and dedication you give to this wonderful website but patients and caregivers from all over the world who also credit you for your amazing service. Merry Xmas to you and your family.

Mark Reid
Sydney Australia.

Leslie Lafayette says on December 21st, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Adam, congratulations on your anniversary, and on your marvelous work in this field. January 28 will be my 4th anniversary of mital valve repair surgery with the robot and I am very happy to have this forum to share any experience I can with those who will face this surgery. Hurray for all of us! 🙂

Ricky (a female) says on December 21st, 2011 at 10:17 pm

On January 28th,I will have my NINTH!!!! Anniversary!!!! I call it my 2ND BIRTHDAY!!!!Keep on tickin!!!!!

Eric Desbonnet says on December 21st, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Congratulations on 6 years. You helped me out so much when I was looking at my surgery exactly 2 years and 2 months ago. Because of you and your work, I knew what to expect. I and everyone of us who have had and are looking at valve surgery appreciate all you’ve done. Thanks.

Don Hull says on December 21st, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Congratulations! May you live long and continue to be a valuable source of information and encouragement to us, your “family” of heart valve patients. Thank you, and Keep on Ticking!

Ted Shearer says on December 22nd, 2011 at 12:27 am

Congratulations Adam on your 6 year anniversary. I just celebrated my 3rd year on December 4th. It is such an important date in ours and our families lives. I just recommended this site to a friend, it is such a valuable resource for people who are feeling an uncertainty in their lives. God Bless, Ted

Sylvia Woolworth says on December 22nd, 2011 at 12:38 am

Special blessing to you Adam on your special day. Enjoy many more.

Peter Redhead says on December 22nd, 2011 at 5:19 am

Congratulations Adam! A little more than three weeks from now, I would be celebrating my second anniversary of my aortic valve replacement. You really have to experience the process to truly appreciate the feeling of such an experience. I compare it with that of being an uncle , and the becoming a FATHER! Its two different feelings! I plan to take that day off from work and just relax! For those out there who are still battling to make up their mind wheather to do the surgery or not, dont let your ailing heart decide for you, make that decision, and at the end of the day, you andyour heart can celebrate!
Best regards,
Peter Redhead.

fazilat shivji says on December 22nd, 2011 at 8:36 am

Hi Adam may u have many more happy and healthy years ahead and keep up the good work.

Donna Kowall says on December 22nd, 2011 at 9:15 am

I and three out of my four brothers were born with bicuspid aortic valves. One brother had his replaced 7 years ago, I had mine replaced 6 months ago, and my other 2 brothers are in the “watching ” stage. A friend of one of my brothers, who himself had his aortic valve replaced at 38 years old, shared your book with me. It has been so helpful and so comforting. I have turned to your website many times within the past 6 months to search if other patients have had various side effects since valve surgery that I have experienced. Over and over I have been put at ease. There is a wonderful kinship between those of us of “the open heart club” and you, Adam, are the founder. May the Lord continue to bless you as you have helped so many of us and we in turn will help others.

carol Kirson says on December 22nd, 2011 at 10:16 am

Congratulations on another birthday. I hope you have a wonderful year and many, many more birthdays to enjoy with your wife and darling Ethan.

Your book certainly is the reason my husband has celebrated more birthdays. If I had not read it we would not have gone to the BEST testing center for an evaluation… where he had a cardiac arrest on the treadmill and immediate resuscitation allowed him to have his aortic valve replaced a few days later at the facility. His local cardiologist had a very casual approach to the valve. If he was not evaluated that day he would have been as usual at the gym doing a much more vigorous work out, collapsed there (no defibrillator) and certainly have died. Timing can be everything and you educated us enough to go for that second opinion.

You do fantastic work in educating those who are looking for guidance regarding their valves!!! Thank you and enjoy the cupcakes.

Rachel says on December 22nd, 2011 at 10:52 am

Happy 6th Anniversary Adam! Thanks for all you do! Enjoy!!!

Donald Henry says on December 22nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Congratulations Adam. I always look forward to reading your blog. I had my aorta valve replaced with a Bovine tissue valve in Feb 2000 and was told by my cardiologist that I should get 2 more years. About a month ago I had an infection get into my blood stream ( endocarditis) and it went straight to my tissue valve resulting in my second AVR on Nov 30. I am 22 days post op and doing well. I received another Bovine valve. I am 66 years old, so I am hoping the percantaneous technique will be routine by the time I need the third operation. Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. Don

Adam Pick says on December 22nd, 2011 at 6:31 pm

To Pops, Jayne, Cindy, MJ, Carol, Gene, Tony, Jeff, Loren, Sarah, Roberta, Christine, Ruth, Michael, Lynda, Nancy, Zafar, Mark, Leslie, Ricky, Eric, Don, Ted, Sylvia, Peter, Fazilat, Donna, Carol K., Rachel, Donald –

I’m overwhelmed, touched, moved and inspired by your thoughtful comments. Many, many, many, many thanks for taking the time to share such kind and encouraging words.

So you know… I often tell people that this project provides the best form of human nourishment. Your comments support that belief.

After reading your notes, I feel stuffed with goodness. 🙂

Keep on tickin!

Kimberly Carlton says on December 22nd, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Celebrating 8 weeks post op here, and thankful for you, your sixth year anniversary, and thankful for the ways your experience has helped me through mine! Kim

Ricky (a female) says on December 22nd, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Just had to add one note. I had an Aunt who had an expression in Yiddish. She would have called you,”a HERTZEN GUNIF”. A heart thief. Meaning,you steal people’s hearts with your compassion and love. We all love and admire you. R.

Dale says on December 22nd, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Happy Anniversary, Adam, and thank you for all that you do. I well remember reading your book (for the fifth or sixth time) in its entirety the night before my surgery. It was really helpful, not only in providing information, but in allowing me to calm down!

Denise Ring says on December 28th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Adam, you are such a blessing to so many people. What a positive impact you have and will continue to have on countless lives. You were such an inspiration to not only me in my time of need, but my family and friends as well. Simple words could never convey the gratitude and admiration I have for you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tireless efforts to our community. Happy Anniversary & many, many, many more!! 🙂

Christine says on January 2nd, 2012 at 5:17 am

Dear Adam,
I cannot thank you enough for your initiative to have created this blog and your book. It’s so helpful, it’s amazing! A very good and healthy 2012 New Year to you and your family!
Warmest regards,

Chuck says on January 13th, 2012 at 5:01 pm


Congratulation on your anniversary and thank you for this blog. I’ll be 44 later this month and have just been told it is time for Aortic Valve Replacement and a repair to my Aortic Arch. I’ve known this was coming ever since I was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve at the young age of 13.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions answered by reading through this blog – and many were questions I didn’t know enough to ask.

It’s good to hear so many good stories from people on the other end of this surgery. There is a lot of comfort in that.

Congratulations again on your anniversary and thank your for this wonderful resource. I’ll be doing much more reading, both in this blog and your book that I have on order.

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