What Happened When 100 Heart Valve Patients & Caregivers Met for “Patient Day” at Edwards Lifesciences?
By Adam Pick on September 2, 2015
When I started this website nine years ago, I had a dream. My dream was that someday heart valve patients would connect in real-time to share their experiences as a community.
Well, that dream transformed into reality when Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve manufacturer, volunteered to host “Patient Day” at its headquarters in Irvine, California. To capture the special moments of this event, Edwards hired our team to film this video.
On behalf of the patients and the caregivers of HeartValveSurgery.com, I want to extend a mighty thanks to Carla Asta, Amanda Fowler, Katrina Headle, Sarah Huoh, Mike Mussallem and the entire Edwards team for empowering the patient voice at “Patient Day”.
Keep on tickin!
P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provide a written transcript of this video.
Max Page: If I had to give advice to another ten-year old my age that is just about to go through heart surgery, I would say that you’re going to be scared and it’s going to hurt, but in the end you’re going to feel better. You just have to trust everybody because you’re doing the right thing.
Mike Mussallem: We decided to take the step here and do a Patient Day. The idea of bringing a whole group and allowing them to meet each other, share experiences, think about what could and should be better, and help patients find their voice, this is something that we thought sounded really interesting and inspiring. So, we wanted to try it.
Todd Maser: They [Edwards] asked me if I wanted to come out. It was a unique opportunity to say “Thank You” to everybody who essentially saved my life. It was incredibly meaningful to come out here and meet everybody from Edwards, the amazing work they did for me and my family.
Amanda Fowler: Today, we have a lot of people coming together. We have Edwards patients, we have non-profit organizations that we support through our foundation, people who are already out there using their voice to change lives for other heart valve patients.
Bray Patrick-Lake: The patient voice is more powerful than I think any of us know. At first we’re dealing with our own health crisis and trying to take care of ourselves and then when we get to the end of it, we want to actually help others.
Jennifer Page: When I heard about patient day, I was just honored that we got to be a part and represent the pediatric voice. Max is ten now and he’ll soon age out and join the adult side, so to represent that community was quite an honor.
Max Page: They were also generous enough to let me come to their campus and learn the history about Edwards. It was just amazing to see what everything inside of me is made of and how it’s made. It’s just amazing.
Todd Maser: It’s still surreal. When I met them it’s hard to really explain what it is to meet the people who made the device that saved our lives.
Stewart Gully: The entire laboratory came up behind us and we all cheered and laughed. It was a dynamic experience and a little tear-jerking I might add.
Joseph Harlow: That’s what this world should be about, people helping people. That’s what I think. They’re doing a fantastic job out there. I wish I could go through that whole lab and meet them, but they all came out. I don’t know why, but I blew them all kisses because I love them all.
Max Page: I met a lot of people with the same problems as me. It’s just comforting that they’re living and thriving a great and hopeful life.
Susan Strong: I met the team that sewed my heart valve and I said, “Can I hug you?” I gave them all a hug and one lady was holding me tight and I was crying and she said, “I can feel your heart.” It was amazing.
Sarah Allan says on September 4th, 2015 at 3:27 pm
The two best things I have done for myself is to read Adam’s book and have the valve replaced. The worst pain I had was coming home in the car. And another smart thing, doing the cardiac rehab. Thank you Adam, you made this all so much easier for me.
Michael Bowes says on October 20th, 2015 at 11:55 pm
@disqus_kKqnDutJQQ:disqus I always hated the ride home from the hospital because my insides felt like they were a bag of marbles and every bump in the road made my chest feel like it was bouncing all over the place. Which valve did you have replaced Sarah? I was always a rebel when it came to the cardio rehab.. meaning I never did it… =)