After Heart Surgery, Frank Wins Pickleball Silver Medal At National Championships
By Adam Pick on April 15, 2020
I love when patients in our community send me their success stories. For example, Frank Collura just brought a smile to my face. Here’s what Frank emailed me:
About 5 years ago, I had my aortic valve replaced with a pig valve. I was 78 years old. At the time of surgery, I was playing full-court basketball with a middle-aged group of guys at my church. I had been playing with them for about 10 years, 3 times a week. I was very upset at the prospect of not being able to play competitive basketball after heart surgery.
Frank Collura (Aortic Valve Replacement Patient)
About a year later, I moved to the desert. Unfortunately, I could not find a pickup game of basketball.
One of my friends suggested that I try Pickleball, which I did. Now, I play Pickleball two to three hours a day. The sport is not as physical as basketball. But, it is great exercise.
This past November, I participated in the 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships in Indian Wells, California. There were over 2,500 participants. I received a silver medal in my bracket (3.5 skill level, 75+ years). At the time, I was 83 years old.
I strongly suggest that heart surgery survivors consider this sport and remember that life can be great after surgery! Valve replacement is not the end of competitive sports even at my age!
See More Patient Success Stories:
- Uncle Phil Can Breathe Freely Thanks to the MitraClip
- Video: Alan Plays Hockey Again After Heart Valve Surgery
- A 10-Year Heart Valve Surgery Reunion in Florida
- Jim Is A Track & Field Success
Keep on tickin Frank!
P.S. For those of you who are not familiar with Pickleball, here is a video to help you learn how it’s played.