Top 15 Heart Valve Surgery Posts of 2020!

Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Page last updated: December 30, 2020

While 2020 has been a difficult year with many unexpected challenges, I am happy to share great news with our community.


Top 15 Heart Valve Posts of 2020

Thanks to your wonderful support, the past 12 months has been full of patient education, patient empowerment and patient advocacy at (HVS)

In total… The stories posted at HVS were shared, commented on, and liked over 300,000 times across social media.  That means we helped raised heart valve disease awareness to millions of people!!!

There’s no doubt about it! Together, we are helping people learn about heart valve disorders which are under-diagnosed and under-treated.  Great, great, great job!

As we prepare to enter 2021… Let’s look back at 15 stories that inspired, educated and connected our community.

15. The “Rapid Recovery Protocol” Gets Rapid Patient Applause (6,000+ Social Engagements)

With 6,094 social media shares, patients celebrated the impact that the Rapid Recovery Protocol developed by Dr. Marc Gerdisch at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, Indiana. Watch this amazing video below to see how the Rapid Recovery Protocol helped Tim, Matt, Timothy and Todd after surgery.



You can also see my interview with Dr. Gerdisch to learn how new technologies and innovative therapies – including cryoanalgesia and rigid sternal fixation – are helping patients.


Dr. Marc Gerdisch


14. Ed Clinton’s Mitral Valve Repair & Maze Procedure Success Story (6,200+ Social Engagements)

As up to 35% of patients with heart valve disease also suffer from atrial fibrillation, our community cheered on Ed Clinton’s surgical results after Dr. Patrick McCarthy, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern Medicine, performed a successful mitral valve repair and Maze procedure on Ed.  This video post received 6,220 social media engagements.



13. Jerome Flashes A “Thumbs-Up” From the ICU (6,700+ Social Engagements)

Seeing patients – shortly after a successful heart valve surgery – inspires our community. In October, Jerome Hill, a bicuspid aortic valve patient, provided us with a much-needed smile in this “Patient Inspiration Alert” that generated 6,761 social media shares.


Jerome in ICU After Heart Surgery

12. Heart Valve Manufacturer, Medtronic, Doubles Ventilator Production to Help COVID-19 Patients (7,000+ Social Engagements)

As COVID-19 spread across the planet, we witnessed its unthinkable impact on healthcare. As medical teams raced to find effective treatments for this respiratory disease, the supply shortage of ventilators became a massive, global concern.  To help fight COVID-19… In March, we learned that Medtronic, a leading heart valve manufacturer that also makes ventilators, doubled its ventilator production capacity.  Our heart valve community saluted Medtronic with over 7,000 social media engagements.


Medtronic Ventilators

11. COVID-19 Treatments: 6 Facts to Know (7,100+ Social Engagements)

During the lock-down, we received many, many, many patient questions about COVID-19 treatment.


COVID-19 Treatment


To answer those questions, we interviewed Dr. Allan Stewart, a leading heart surgeon from Miami, Florida.  The story, “Doctor Q&A: How Is COVID-19 Treated” had over 7,100 social media engagements.


Dr. Allan StewartDr. Allan Stewart


10. John & Larry Inspire Us During COVID-19 (7,200+ Social Engagements)

One thing I love about our community is when patients, who meet online, connect in-person.  As we saw in March, John Roland and Larry Manshel not only met in-person, they met at the Cleveland Clinic during their surgeries. John had a success aortic valve replacement and aneurysm repair by Dr. Eric Roselli and Larry had a successful mitral valve repair by Dr. Marc Gillinov. This wonderful post had 7,213 social media shares.


John & Larry - Heart Valve Patients

9. Is Heart Valve Surgery An Elective Surgery During COVID? (7,900+ Social Engagements)

As COVID-19 spread and lock-downs ensued, elective surgeries were postponed.  As a result, I received many questions from patients about what that meant for patients with heart valve disease. To answer those questions, we interviewed Dr. Marc Gillinov, the Chairman of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.  This post about whether-or-not heart valve surgery was elective generated 7,910 social media engagements.



8. John O’Neill’s Photo Lights Up Facebook (8,100+ Social Engagements)

2020 got off to a great start when John O’Neill brightened our Facebook page with this fashionable, post-op picture. This picture of John in his robe (and his yellow sock) generated 8,188 social engagements on Facebook alone!


Heart Valve Patient Standing After Surgery

7. Mother & Son Share Special Heart Valve Surgery Bond (9,000+ Social Engagements)

This guest post by Kathy Chelton quickly captured the interest of patients all over the world. If you have yet to read this amazing story about Kathy, her son (Carter) and Dr. Gillinov, which had over 9,000 social media engagements, click here.


Heart Surgery Patients During COVID-19

6. COVID-19 Will Not Break Dr. Craig Smith & NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (9,900+ Social Engagements)

Using his blog, Dr. Craig Smith of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, New York, provided the world a prolific and daily glimpse into life inside a major healthcare system battling COVID-19.  Our patients cheered on Dr. Smith, a long-time supporter of, and all front-line medical workers in this post which generated over 9,900 social media engagements.


Dr. Craig Smith Blogs About COVID-19

5. Allen’s 37-Year Old St. Jude/Abbott Mechanical Valve Replacement Success Story (11,000+ Social Engagements)

The patient success story of Allen Stendahl and his 37-year old St. Jude/Abbott mechanical valve replacement is headed for the “Heart Valve Hall of Fame”.  Within seconds of posting, Allen’s story went viral racking up 11,000 social media engagements. Go Allen! Go!



4. After Ross Procedure, Elizabeth Runs to Support Heart Disease Patients (12,600+ Social Engagements)

Throughout the year, patient interest in the Ross Procedure gained a lot of momentum leading up to our Ross Procedure Webinar with Dr. Paul Stelzer and Dr. Ismail El-Hamamsy of Mount Sinai.  There’s no doubt that Elizabeth’s amazing recovery and charitable efforts added to that momentum.  The post, “After Ross Procedure, Elizabeth Runs to Support Heart Disease Patients”, had over 12,600 social media shares.


Ross Procedure Success Story

3. Michelle’s Post-Op Smile Goes Viral!!! (13,000+ Social Engagements)

In March, Michelle Jurkouich’s wonderful smile and “Thumbs Up!” picture taken shortly after successful aortic valve replacement surgery by Dr. Hiroo Takayama at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, made an instant and global impression on our patient community.  Less than one week after posting, Michelle’s picture had 13,000+ social media engagements on Facebook alone!!!


Heart Surgery Patient Thumbs Up

2. COVID-19: Top 20 Facts for Heart Valve Patients (16,800+ Social Engagements)

In February and March, as patient questions about COVID-19 filled my inbox, we began ongoing coverage of the pandemic.  Our initial post, “COVID-19: Top 20 Facts for Heart Valve Patients” was quickly shared around the world to help educate patients about the novel coronavirus and heart valve disease.  Since then, this resource has been viewed for over 263,820 minutes by our community while garnering 16,892 shares, comments, and likes in Facebook alone.


Covid & Heart Valve Disease Facts

1. He’s Back!!! Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 3rd Heart Valve Surgery!!! (18,000+ Social Engagements)



Number one post of 2020 is….

He’s back!!!!

That’s right.

When news broke that Arnold Schwarzenegger had his third heart valve surgery, our community quickly took the story viral with 18,000+ social media engagements.



Arnold Schwarzenegger Heart Valve Surgery


Thanks For Your Support! Happy New Year!

As we enter 2021, 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 our sponsors.

Your support of continues to touch, move, educate, empower and inspire patients and people all over the world!!!

Happy New Year!!!

May 2021 be a whole heckuva lot better than 2020!!!!

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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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