Patient Success Week: Thanks to Her Dad’s Memory, Sophie Got the Screening & Treatment She Needed!

After the unfortunate loss of her dad to a heart attack, Sophie Marsh decided it was time to see a cardiologist for a heart disease screening. The test results surprised Sophie, Geoff, her husband, and their two daughters.

Even though Sophie had no symptoms, her echocardiogram revealed that Sophie had severe mitral regurgitation and severe tricuspid regurgitation. This is Sophie’s story…

While Sophie was asymptomatic, I think it’s a good idea to share some of the common symptoms associated with heart valve disease in this post… just in case you’re wondering. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the ankles, feet or abdomen
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations

If you are experiencing any symptoms above, I hope Sophie’s story may have inspired you to get screened.

Many thanks to Sophie, Geoff and the entire Marsh family for sharing their story with our community! We really appreciate all that you have done to support this community over the years! And, to Dr. David Adams and the Mount Sinai Hospital team, thanks for taking such great care of Sophie and her family!

Keep on tickin’ Sophie!
Adam

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I posted a transcript of this video below:

Sophie Marsh: I work as a sign painter. I’ve always loved lettering; all types of letters, different fonts, and I do a lot of gold leaf boat transoms. Pretty much if it needs to be identified, I’m your person. I lost my dad to a heart attack and about six months later decided to go to see his cardiologist just to have my heart checked to be preventative; to see if there was anything wrong with mine. It was then at that appointment the cardiologist said, “Your heart is making a lot of noise and you’ve got something going on here. Let’s send you for a lot of tests.” I had Barlow’s Syndrome so I had a mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which both were severe. I can’t believe that the way I feel that this actually warrants going for open heart surgery. It was scary to know it was coming and to accept it.

Geoff Marsh, Sophie’s Husband: When she first was diagnosed, it was a shock. At such a young age, you just don’t hear of many people that have a heart condition like that.

Sophie Marsh: Once I found out that I needed heart surgery and it was something that I shouldn’t put off, then we started researching things; really paying attention, looking at all of the vocabulary, and what does this actually mean and then taking the cardiologist’s advice to go visit some surgeons.

Geoff Marsh: By the time we went to our second opinion with Dr. Adams and hearing his confidence in that he could repair her mitral heart valve condition, I just knew we were on the right track now.

Sophie Marsh: Then I watched a video that Dr. Adams did on a Barlow’s patient and I watched his hands and I watched how detailed he is and I said, “Wow, this seems like something that needs to be done by hand.”

Sophie Marsh: Being an artist I appreciate tactile and fine work so it just felt like knowing exactly where to trim, where to cut, where to sew, you need to be a master craftsman to do this. I feel fantastic now. Now that this valve is closing when it should, I sleep at night. I don’t have pins and needles when I wake up, so I really think the circulation is a lot better than I ever experienced my whole life.

Geoff Marsh: Sophie is so much better after surgery. She can take life’s challenges and the progress hourly, daily is just incredible.

Sophie  Marsh: My number one piece of advice would be to research. Don’t be ignorant going into this. Try to find out as much as you can because with knowledge comes peace.

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 HeartValveSurgery.com.

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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