12 Years Later, I’m Still Tickin’

By Adam Pick on December 21, 2017

It’s hard to believe… 12 years ago…

At this very moment, I was being wheeled into an operating room at the University of Southern California where Dr. Vaughn Starnes and his team would perform a Ross Procedure to fix my heart that suffered from a bicuspid aortic valve with stenosis and regurgitation.

 

 

Since December 21, 2005, I have learned so much. Thanks to this website, which I started in 2006 to educate and empower patients, I have learned so much about the four valves that open-and-close billions of times during each human life. I have learned so much about the dedicated medical teams that are committed to helping patients fight this misunderstood disease. I have learned so much about the heart valve repair and replacement devices that transform valvular function from inefficiency to normalcy.

Most importantly, I have learned so much about you – the patients, the families and the friends – that joined this community. Your endless support of each other in good times and in difficult situations continues to inspire me day-after-day-after day. Your willingness to be open… Your willingness to be honest… And, your willingness to care for one another is beyond touching.

 

 

Lastly, I have learned about myself. 12 years ago my focus was me – my heart, my recovery, my life. Today, my focus is you – your heart, your recovery, your life. While I don’t always get it right with the educational content shared and the services at HeartValveSurgery.com, I do exactly what my mom always taught me… To do my best.

These past 12 years have been a gift. These past 12 years have been on “borrowed” time. These past 12 years have lifted my heart and lifted my soul. The source of that is you. Your emails of appreciation. Your phone calls of thanks.  Your invitations to connect here in the United States and abroad. Needless to say, this has been an amazing journey thanks to you.

 

 

Years ago… Robyn, my wife, gave me a stone with a thoughtful quote carved into it. The quote is from Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet. The quote reads, “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

I can not be more thankful for this “particular work” which I only started to understand 12 years ago.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com 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 HeartValveSurgery.com 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.


Catherine Allison says on December 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 am

I have been receiving your weekly posts for about 1&1/2 years now after I had a valve-sparing aortic root replacement. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been moved to tears by the stories shared by so many on this site. Heart surgery is a hugely emotional and life-changing event. I had no idea how profoundly it would affect me, and I can feel through your words, that your own surgery also affected you in this way. I just wanted to thank you for making this your life work. It’s good work. Your blog has helped me and countless others to understand some of the physical and emotional processes of healing and getting back to normal. Thank you from the bottom of my scarred, but now healthy heart! Cathy.



Adam says on December 22nd, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Cathy, Thanks so much for your kind note and your thoughtful words. You just made my day, my week, my month, my year! Have a wonderful holidays! Keep on tickin! Adam



Ursula Browning says on December 23rd, 2017 at 5:44 am

Well done, and thanks to that we are all benefiting from everything you have been doing for us hearty people. With thanks and best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Ursula (7 years post op and happily ticking)



my friend has EHS kids says on December 28th, 2017 at 12:54 pm

My son also underwent the Ross Procedure with Dr Vaughn Starnes in 1997. Unfortunately, his aortic valve is leaking and he is scheduled for valve replacement in 2 weeks. He is 30 now, and must make his own decision as whether to choose a bio-tissue valve or a mechanical valve. His big issues are the certainty of a future replacement if choosing the bio-tissue, or life changes of taking coumadin with a mechanical valve. I am hoping to read comments from others who have had to make similar choices so I can support my son in his decision. I just found this blog, and so far it has given me hope that we really aren’t in this alone, and that there is support out there for the asking. Thank you for your efforts. Now I wait!



Jodi says on January 31st, 2018 at 4:04 pm

My daughter, 28, will be having her aortic valve replaced along with her aortic root [Bentall procedure] on 2/28. Her surgeon will also be Dr. Vaughn Starnes. I’m a wreck. She will have a mechanical valve, so she will be on Coumadin for life. I sure hope that Dr. Starnes can perform his magic on my daughter. I hope your son’s surgery went smoothly and he is recovering nicely.


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