After 7 Heart Surgeries, Liver Failure & Kidney Failure, Irvin Is Beyond Thankful For Dr. Shemin

If you didn’t know, I moderate all of the patient recommendations we receive at our Surgeon Finder. Earlier today, I saw a testimonial from Irvin that made me think, “That’s incredible! I gotta share this with our community!”

So, without further ado, here is what Irvin posted: Luckily, Dr. Richard Shemin took on my case which was a #9 in difficulty (10 being the most difficult!). He performed my 5th open-heart surgery while I was in kidney and liver failure from my heart valves being in shambles and not getting blood to my organs. I had 7 previous heart surgeries. Four were aortic valve replacements and 3 where pacemaker surgeries all from the time I was age 21 due to a congenital defect in my aortic valve.

Dr. Richard Shemin & Heart Valve PatientDr. Richard Shemin with Irvin Solt

After one of my last surgeries in 2003, I finally went through a 10 year period of fairly good health. I was even able to lift weights, and worked up to bench pressing up to 250 lbs. Then, in February of 2013, at the age of 59, I wasn’t feeling well. But, I didn’t know why. I eventually saw a kidney specialist who told me that I was in 4th stage kidney failure. My wife and I were shocked!

A few months later — in May of 2013 — I was back in the hospital where I was diagnosed with liver failure in addition to kidney failure. I felt like the ‘walking dead’. I was fortunately sent by my hospital doctor to Dr. Shemin at UCLA Medical Center for a further evaluation for heart surgery. He evaluated my ECHO and then ordered further diagnostic tests which verified my need for valve replacement.

When he performed my 5th open-heart surgery on August 1, 2013, he did not expect to do as much as he did! I ended up needing a bypass, a new pacemaker, the tightening of my tricuspid heart valve required a ring, and a complete replacement of my mitral valve with a new mechanical valve. He also put in a new aortic mechanical valve replacing the old valve that — to his amazement — was only being held on by 3 remaining stitches out of 20! Had one more stitch come loose, I would have died instantly. I knew I was sent to him for this surgery just in time!

Since the surgery on August 1st, my kidney function has gone from 15% to 60% and my liver function has returned to normal! I am back to work at my job full time and working out at the gym again. Now that the ‘pump’ is working again and getting blood to my organs, I feel like a brand new man!

I am greatly indebted to Dr. Richard Shemin and his wonderful staff and to God who was overseeing this surgery as well as the other 8 before it! Dr. Shemin is not only a great heart surgeon, but also a kind and caring doctor who treats you like his own family!

Irvin Solt
Heart Valve Surgery Patient

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

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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