Top 15 Heart Valve Posts of 2019

By Adam Pick on December 30, 2019

Woo-Whoo! 2019 was another AMAZING year for our community!

The past 12 months was full of patient education, patient inspiration, patient empowerment and patient advocacy.  Thanks to your wonderful support, the stories posted here were shared over 100,000 times across social media.  That means you helped raise awareness to millions of people about heart valve disease, a fatal disorder that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.  Thank you!!!



As we enter 2020… Let’s look back at 15 stories that inspired, educated and connected our community.


15. eBook Downloads Soar for “Advances in Mitral Valve Therapy”

In February, we hosted the “Advances in Mitral Valve Therapy” webinar with special guests Dr. Clyde Yancy, the former president of the American Heart Association, and Dr. Charles Davidson, a leading interventional cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine.  Upon posting the webinar transcript as a free eBook on social media, the downloads soared.  Over 2,600 copies of the eBook were downloaded. Download the eBook at this link.




14. Mick Jagger Gets TAVR Satisfaction (2,800 Social Shares)

In early April, we learned that Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones was preparing for aortic valve replacement surgery.   We quickly posted “Mick Jagger’s Heart Valve Surgery: 5 Facts to Know” to educate our community about aortic stenosis and TAVR with comments and videos by Dr. Marc Gillinov and Dr. Michael Mack.  With over 2,800 social shares, the post quickly became a leading article for people wanting to learn more about Mick Jagger’s surgery and recovery.




13. Dr. Vaughn Starnes Announced AATS President (2,800 Social Shares)

In May, we learned that another long-time supporter of would become the President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.  First, it was Dr. David Adams in 2018.  This time, it was Dr. Vaughn Starnes, a heart valve specialist, from Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles.   As you might recall, Dr. Starnes performed a Ross Procedure on me in 2005.  Since then, Dr. Starnes has helped many patients from our community. Learn more here.




12. The Patient Experience at Edwards Lifesciences (2,900 Social Shares)

To celebrate and learn from heart valve patients… Edwards Lifesciences, a leading heart valve device manufacturer, invited and hosted 50 heart valve patients and their care partners to its company headquarters in Irvine, California for a special, two-day conference known as the “Patient Experience”.  Luckily, my camera crew went onsite to film this special event that was cheered by our community and received over 2,900 social shares.




11. Pipeline Medical Excites TMVR Possibilities (3,200 Social Shares)

In November… My interview with Dr. Steve Bolling, the founder of Pipeline Medical and the Director of the Mitral Valve Program at Michigan Medicine, received a significant reception by our patient community.  The article generated over 3,300 social media shares.  The Pipeline device is a new, non-invasive therapy for the treatment of mitral regurgitation.  Early in its development, the Pipeline just completed its First-in-Man implant.  Learn more here.




10. Top Peloton Instructor, Robin Arzon, Inspires Heart Valve Patients (3,300 Social Shares)

This was completely unexpected!!!  Who would have thought that a New York Times best-selling author and top Peloton instructor, Robin Arzon, would inspire thousands of heart valve patients?  Well, that is exactly what happened in December when Robin gave me a “shout-out” during an online bike ride. The post generated over 3,300 social media shares here.




9. TRILUMINATE Clinical Trial Gets Patient Applause (3,300 Social Shares)

As the tricuspid valve is often-regarded as the “forgotten valve”, our community showed tremendous support for the launch of the TRILUMINATE clinical trial sponsored by Abbott.  This new research study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter tricuspid mitral valve repair for tricuspid regurgitation.  The post received over 3,300 social media shares here.




8. Susan & Her New Valve Go Viral! (4,700 Social Shares)

In July, it was great to see Susan Richard’s smiling photo go viral at Facebook.  As you might recall, Susan posted this picture in our online community just 24 hours after she received a new INSPIRIS RESILIA aortic heart valve.   This post received over 4,700 social media shares and 454 comments at Facebook.




7.  Penny Gets 1,700 Loving, Supportive & Encouraging Comments!

Together, we have experienced the highs and the lows of heart valve surgery.  That said, the emotional and physical stresses of cardiac surgery can cause a metaphorical “rollercoaster” for patients. In July, we were reminded of this as Penny Melcher needed a little boost from our community.  After cardiac arrest, defibrillator implant and multiple heart surgeries, Penny got healing energy from the people in our community who responded to Penny’s picture with over 4,800 social shares and 1,700 encouraging comments.




6.  SternaLock Blu Gets 5,800 Facebook Likes!

When the patients in our community learned about the benefits of the SternaLock Blu device for sternal healing, our social channels ignited with interest.  This post, which discussed the advantages of rigid sternal fixation, received over 5,800 Facebook reactions.




5.  Sara’s Smiling Scar Selfie Inspires 5,800 Facebook Likes!

The stories of the courageous patients in our community are inspirational.  Just 3 days after aortic valve replacement surgery, Sara Colosimo posted this wonderful Smiling Scar Selfie.  Shortly thereafter, Sara’s Facebook post received over 5,800 Facebook reactions.



4.  Uncle Phil’s MitraClip Success Story (5,900 Social Shares)

This was great!!!  As you might recall, my Uncle Phil suffered from severe mitral regurgitation.  In August… Phil, a retired urologist from Los Angeles, had a successful MitraClip procedure.  Phil’s story went viral receiving more than 5,900 social media shares at this post.




3.  Mava’s Smiling Scar Selfie Crosses 7,000 Shares!

When Mava Reif posted this Smiling Scar Selfie after successful heart valve surgery by Dr. Kevin Accola in Orlando, Florida, our social media channels erupted in support with over 7,300 shares!  Go Mava!!!




2.  My 14-Year Heart Valve Anniversary Triggers 10,700 Facebook Reactions!

Thanks to your support, I was touched, moved and inspired last week when I posted this story about my 14th anniversary from heart valve surgery.  I still can’t believe this story had over 10,700 social media actions.  Thank you!!!!




1.  John’s Thumbs-Up Gets Over 12,000 Social Media Engagements


For the number one post of 2019….

Your support for each other continues to amaze me.  You may have seen at John’s Heart Valve Journal that he had successful and complex mitral, tricuspid and atrial fibrillation surgery.  After being discharged, John posted this smiling photo of his early recovery at his journal.  Shortly thereafter, John’s picture reached over 53,000 people and received over 12,300 engagements in Facebook alone.  Amazing!!!



Thank You! Happy New Year!

As we enter 2020, 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 patients and people all over the world!!!

Happy New Year!!!

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Keep on tickin!

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.

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