Top 10 Heart Valve Stories of 2017

Yay! 2017 was another AMAZING year for our community!

The past 12 months was full of patient education and patient empowerment. As we get ready to enter 2018… Let’s look back at the stories that inspired, educated and connected the wonderful people in our community.



10.  Top 5 Facts: Aortic Stenosis Progression

Aortic stenosis is a wildly misunderstood form of heart disease that impacts 12% of the elderly population. To help our community learn more about this disease, we asked Dr. Kevin Accola, a leading heart valve surgeon at Florida Hospital, to explain the progression of aortic stenosis. Our community responded quickly and favorably to Dr. Accola’s comments with over 1,400 social shares. Learn more.


9.  Is Aortic Valve Repair A Global Phenomenon?

In October… Our “Ask Adam Anything” video series – filmed live at the Heart Valve Summit in Chicago – was a smashing success.  In this video with Dr. Vinay Badhwar, who is the Professor and Executive Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at West Virginia University Medicine, we discussed the latest breakthroughs in aortic valve repair.  Considering that most of our educational content has focused on mitral valve repair, this video zipped across the HVS social network and quickly received over 1,900 social shares. In just 3 days, this video was watched for over 12,135 minutes!


8.  Dr. McCarthy & Dr. Castro Receive 100+ Patient Testimonials

During 2017… Two extraordinary surgeons —  Dr. Patrick McCarthy of Northwestern Medicine and Dr. Luis Castro of Sequoia Hospital — reached a significant milestone in the HVS community. Each surgeon received 100+ patient testimonials!  I was honored to share this exciting news with our community which quickly generated over 2,600 social shares combined.


7.  The Surprise Post of 2017: Echocardiograms

Interestingly, the surprise post of 2017 was all about… Echocardiograms!  That’s right! On December 10, I posted an educational story about the different types of echocardiograms used to diagnose and monitor heart valve disease.  The next thing I knew, the post had over 2,700 Facebook Likes. Amazing!!!


6.  Whole Lotta Love for Tina Williams!

Shortly after her mitral valve repair surgery by Dr. Marc Gerdisch, Tina Williams shared several photos from the hospital at her journal.  When we posted Tina’s pictures at Facebook, our community showed their appreciation with many encouraging comments and 2,900+ social shares. See Tina’s Heart Valve Journal.



5.  What Happened When 60 Patients & Caregivers Met For “Patient Day 2017” at Edwards Lifesciences?

If you ever wanted to feel the power of patient communities… Then “Patient Day” is the place for you. This annual event, hosted by Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve manufacturer, brings together patients from all over the world to meet each other, to share their stories and to inspire action within our community. Luckily, I was asked by Edwards to film this video to capture the special moments of this extraordinary day. No surprise… This post received 3,200+ social shares.


4.  The First National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day!

If you didn’t know, the first-ever National Heart Valve Awareness Day was celebrated on February 22, 2017.  During the day, went nuts – posting patient stories and educational content to raise awareness to valve disease. In total, we generated over 786,000 awareness impressions all over the world. To support this effort, I created this special video – with Robyn, my wife, and Ethan, my son – which received over 3,300 social shares.



3.  1,000 TAVRs for The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano!

The use of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for the replacement of diseased aortic valves is always an exciting topic in our community. However, I had no idea that this post about Dr. Michael Mack, Dr. David Brown and the 1,000th TAVR performed by The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano would generate over 3,600 Facebook Likes. Learn more.



2.  Thanks to the MitraClip, Kato Celebrates 100th Birthday

In July… I was so excited to announce that Kato Pomer, a MitraClip recipient in 1992 and beloved community member, had celebrated her 100th birthday.  Kato’s post soared across the HVS network and received over 3,700 Facebook Likes. Later this year, I learned that Kato was featured in a national media campaign by Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of the MitraClip. See Kato’s Story.




1. Bob’s Two “Thumbs-Up” Trigger 6,500 Social Shares

With over 6,500 social shares, Bob Jensen’s patient photo claimed the number one spot during 2017.  Shortly after aortic valve surgery, Bob flashed our community two “thumbs-up” from the intensive care unit.  In less than 24 hours, Bob’s picture was seen by over 66,000 patients in our community. Inspirational patient pictures and the Internet never cease to amaze me!



Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

As 2017 comes to an end, I want to extend an extraordinary thanks to all members of this community – the patients, the families, the friends, the caregivers, the doctors, the nurses, the clinic coordinators, the cardiac centers, the medical device manufacturers, and, of course, our sponsors. Your support of continues to touch, move and inspire me!!!

Keep on tickin’ and… Happy New Year!

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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