Announcing the “2015 Patient Success Week” to Raise Awareness for Heart Valve Disease to 1,000,000 People!

By Adam Pick on July 13, 2015

Is it just me? Or, have you noticed that heart valve disease gets very little public awareness? I mean… Compared to other medical conditions… Doesn’t it feel like heart valve disease gets no “love” when you consider that 5 million people are diagnosed with valve disorders every year?

Well… Starting right now… With your help, I’d like to change that. Thanks to this wonderful community, we’re launching the “2015 Patient Success Week” to raise awareness for heart valve disease. Like all campaigns, we need a goal. Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 people in just 7 days.

To learn more about this much-needed effort, please watch the video below.



Now comes the big question…

Will you join us in this global effort? We don’t need any financial support or donations. All we ask is that you be on the look-out for some great patient stories this week.  Then, if you like the stories, simply share them via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s that easy. You really can make a difference with a click!!!

Here are the stories that have already been posted during Patient Success Week:

Story #1: After Mitral Valve Repair & Maze Procedure, Linda Gets Back to Gardening



Story #2: From a Cardiac Arrest to Crossing the Finish Line, This Is Brian’s Story



Story #3: Tammy Pilcher & Cris Dykeman, Our Community Rockstars



Story #4: Thanks to Her Dad, Sophie Got the Screening & Treatment She Needed



Story #5: After Fainting & Aortic Valve Surgery, Laurence Gets Back To Basketball



Story #6: Go Inside the Medical Mission the Gave Dionicio a “Second Chance” at Life!



By sharing these patient success stories, you will not only educate your family and friends about heart valve disease… You will also empower them should they need some form of treatment in the future.

I believe in you. I believe in our community. Together, I believe we can raise awareness for heart valve disease.

Keep on tickin!

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, here is a video transcript about “2015 Patient Success Week”:

Adam Pick: Today, I have a very special announcement for our community, but first I have a question for you. Have you noticed that heart valve disease as a medical condition gets very little attention, very little awareness, and in my opinion not a whole lot of love?

For example, diabetes gets the month of November, breast cancer gets October, heart month is in February, and atrial fibrillation has September.

What does heart valve disease get for the 5,000,000 people who are diagnosed with this condition every single year? From what I can tell, it doesn’t get a whole lot of coordinated or organized effort to educate people at a local, regional, national, or even global level. Here’s the good news in this situation.

Thanks to your extraordinary support of, we’re going to take it upon ourselves to launch our own heart valve awareness campaign. While we don’t have the resources and we don’t have the capabilities to run a month-long program, what we do have are you, the members of your community, and your incredible inspirational success stories that we want to share with the world.

I’m happy to announce the first ever 2015 patient success week.Here’s how it’s going to work.Every day for the rest of this week, we’re going to share a special patient success story from our community. We’re not just going to share these stories at my blog; we’re going to share these stories everywhere we can. Does that mean we’re going to share your stories at our Facebook page that now has over 45,000 fans? You betcha. Does it also mean we’re going to share your stories at social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon? Again, you betcha. Does it mean that for the patient success stories that we’ve made videos around we’re going to share those stories at places like our YouTube channel? Again, you betcha.

Like all awareness campaigns, we need to set a goal. It’s my hope that by using these social media sites and your sharing in these fantastic patient success stories, we’re not just going to touch, but we’re also going to educate over 1,000,000 people during the next seven days. One of my friends would call this a big, hairy, audacious goal, but from what I know about you and the caring members of this community, I truly believe that we’re going to get it done.

Now, as we officially launch the 2015 patient success week, I encourage you to not only come back to the website and see some great stories about people you know, but I’d ask you to share these stories with your friends, with your family, and with all the folks around you who may not truly understand what heart valve disease is and what it is not. Together we can not only educate these people but we can empower them should they need some form of treatment in the future. As always, thank you so much for your support of this project and our community. Like I always say, keep on ticking.

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.

Savio Souza says on July 13th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

It has been exactly two years I went through a aortic valve surgery and I am very well!

Adam says on July 13th, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Savio, That is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your patient success story with us!!! Quick questions: Did you have a repair or a replacement?

Sue says on July 13th, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Aortic Valve replacement 19 June 2013……..less than three months after coming to live in USA from England…….Terrified…..doing well now!

Adam says on July 13th, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Welcome to the USA Sue!!! So great to hear you are doing well!!!

For those needing aortic valve replacement, here is some info for you at

Anne Johnston says on July 13th, 2015 at 6:14 pm

when i found out i needed aortic valve replacement i was very nervous, i started researching and came across your book,what a great resource,now 2 1/2yrs later i
feel great and lead a very active lifestyle.Thanks Adam.

Adam says on July 13th, 2015 at 6:19 pm


You just made my day. Thank you so much. I’m so thrilled to hear you are going strong 2.5 years later. Woo-Whooo!!!! Happy Dance for you!!!

Keep on tickin’ Anne!

P.S. If you would like to learn about my book for patients, click

michael medykowski says on July 13th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Had aortic valve replacement on Nov. 15th 2012 on a unicuspid valve. Never thought constant ticking would be so refreshing to hear. 😃 Doing great!

Adam says on July 13th, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Right on Michael!

The great thing about that mechanical tick… You know it’s working, right?

For those of you who would like to hear what a mechanical valve sounds like, click

Keep on tickin’ Michael!

Daleen says on July 13th, 2015 at 7:11 pm

On 30 December 2014 I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm with a root of 7.2cm. On 6 January 2015 I had an aortic repair and valve replacement with a cow valve…my 5 hour surgery turned into 7 because when I was being taken of the heart lung machine a coronary collapsed and I had to have bypass surgery also. The surgery went well..I’m alive but no one prepared me for the uphill climb. I had pericarditis twice with high fevers and was hospitalized once for it. My ulnar nerve in my left are is damaged so I have lots of pain in my pinky and ring finger…I still have fevers and pain under my left breast that has sent me to ER twice…no one has answers and I get discouraged…I bought Adams book but I am so lost…can someone help me please!!

Sue says on July 13th, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Adam…..your book helped me so much before my surgery, I was well prepared. Thanks to you! I went for the cardio rehab as you suggested when I was discharged. I now go to a regular gym.

Sue says on July 13th, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Darleen…so sorry to hear about your uphill climb…..My aortic valce had a genetic defect and I was told I might need it replaced when I got older. Then my cardiologist discharged me because it was not changing over time. Unfortunately following a viral infection the valve got worse and I needed surgery. I also had to have a bypass at the same time. My valve is a part pig and part horse! Have you attended any rehab yet? I found it a help. It is only six months since your surgery and I’m sure you will feel better as time goes by. Hope this community helps you.

Sandy says on July 14th, 2015 at 12:56 am

My son had his mitral valve replaced in Feb 2014 (when he was 7 months old). Unfortunately he has had a valve thrombus twice despite aspirin and warfarin. He is doing well today (just turned 13 months). It is incredibly obvious to us about how little focus there is on valve disease especially in infants/toddlers. The research is limited and rather bleak and kids do not even have access to all the kinds of valves that adults have access to as only one company makes small valves.

Joan Bruss says on July 14th, 2015 at 6:05 am

I had my Aorta valve replaced this past February. 2015 and I am doing great. Immediately, I was able to do anything I wanted and because I was so active and doing it all, my cardiologist felt it was kind of unnecessary for me to continue rehab at the hospital since I was doing it all at home. I am 72 years old.
Thanks for all the good work and concern for us.

Jeamary Flores Rivera says on July 14th, 2015 at 8:51 am

Yesterday was my third year,since I had my aortic valve replacement. I can say today, I feel great. Thanks to your book, I went to the surgery more calm, with the information I needed and with a great surgeon. … Dr. Kevin Acola…Gbu

Daleen says on July 14th, 2015 at 9:02 am

Thank you Sue…I am in Rehab now and I love it..but I’m so tired when I get home and the next day..I had rehab yesterday and a temp of 101 last night…but I’m alive and I just keep going!!

Paul Rose says on July 14th, 2015 at 10:24 am

3 years ago this week on Friday 13 July 2012 I had Open Heart Surgery and completed a Complex Mitral Valve repair. The change has been dramatic, from severe mitral valve regurgitation and persistent and debilitating Afib to being in NSR and very fit. I now routinely run 15-30 miles per week. I’ve been off all medication for over 2 years. My Heart has remodelled and is now “as good as new”, I have no restrictions at all on what I do – priceless 😎

Adam says on July 14th, 2015 at 10:45 am

Congratulations Jeamary!!! Wonderful to hear you just celebrated your 3rd anniversary!!! Thanks for the kind words about my book. I’m glad to hear that Dr. Accola in Orlando, Florida was able to help you through this process. Isn’t he the best???!!! If anybody out there wants to learn about Dr. Accola, click

Keep on tickin’ Jeamary!!!

Adam says on July 14th, 2015 at 10:47 am


Sounds like you have taken your recovery by the horns. Way to go. Love you use of the word ‘priceless’ to describe your life without restrictions.

Like JeaMary… I also offer you this 3-year anniversary cupcake!


Sue says on July 14th, 2015 at 10:50 am

My fifteen year old son had an appointment with his consultant today in our local Children’s Outpatient Department and we were elated to hear that, following an aortic valve replacement last October, his St Jude’s mechanical valve is performing excellently. I am so proud of him and very grateful for the knowledge and expertise of the medical team involved.

Paul Rose says on July 14th, 2015 at 11:12 am

Thanks Adam, I don’t get on the site as much as I used to but I’m still a HVJ ambassador in the UK😀. Priceless can also be applied to the work you have done and continue to do, Thank you again

Jeamary Flores Rivera says on July 14th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Yes, he’s the best! Great bedside manners, excellent human being!

Sue says on July 14th, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Hope it gets easier soon for you Darleen. It is still early days for you yet.

Erica Endicott says on July 14th, 2015 at 4:41 pm

My son’s first heart valve procedure was while I was 7-months pregnant with him. His doctors took his critical aortic stenosis and borderline left heart syndrome to a mild condition, while preserving the left side of his heart. Miracle!!! Best part yet, he just turned 1!!!! After 2 more catherizations and an open heart surgery on his mitral valve, he continues to thrive! More info at

Dee says on July 14th, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Its been 16 months since my aortic valve surgery. I have had some difficulty with my incision not healing well/keloids and I do have a question. Before my surgery I was getting ready for a total knee replacement. My cardiac doctor will not okay my surgery. Is this normal? My arteries are in great shape and am wondering what I am going to do. My other question is what percent of patients end up with a disfiguring painful scar? I have had cortisone etc and it has gone down a little but not much. Any advice? My heart surgery went wonderfully though….just these roadblocks.

Daleen says on July 15th, 2015 at 10:19 am

Being sent to infectious disease

Sue says on July 15th, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Sorry to hear Daleen…hope you are OK!…..Thinking of you.

rubart says on January 5th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Hi Adam,

First, thanks for a fantastic website and all the great info and support that comes with it.

In August 2015 I had a full sternotomy and got my mitral valve repaired and my aortic valve replaced. (2-for-1 day, lol.) I’d like to tell two things to all those who are facing these operations.

(1) the mortality rate is a whopping two percent. (And those patients usually had other diseases going on.)

(2) Please don’t listen to all those who say the recovery is going to be arduous for you, since it was arduous for them. All they can do is say what happened to them, NOT what happens to everyone. Recovery is certainly no picnic, but I started feeling terrific after my sixth week (not sixth month!). And the feeling hasn’t stopped. Recovery is an individual experience, not a one-size-fits-all. (I’m 70, by the way.)

So go in with faith, gratitude and a great sense of humor and you too might have weeks, rather than months, of recovery. Our bodies are a miracle, the technology is a miracle and our providers are a miracle. With that many miracles “swaddling” us, how can anything go wrong?

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