Thanks to Tom & Dr. Caffarelli, I Get a New Heart!
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: August 9, 2021
There’s no doubt about it. What I love most about HeartValveSurgery.com is the special opportunity to meet and help patients from all over the world.
For example… I was very fortunate to recently connect with Tom Everson from Anaheim, California. Tom was diagnosed with aortic stenosis and an aortic aneurysm. During our exchange, Tom asked several great questions about surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), aortic root replacement, cardiac surgeons and hospitals.
Tom, 79, is originally from Staten Island, New York, and a former captain in the U.S. Air Force. Tom spent 41 years working at ConAgra Foods prior to his retirement. For the past 46 years, Tom has been married to Barb, his wife. Go Tom and Barb!
Tom Selects Dr. Caffarelli to Perform Heart Valve & Aneurysm Surgery
After we connected, Tom wasted no time becoming his own, best patient advocate. Tom researched his treatment options and then selected Dr. Anthony Caffarelli to perform a SAVR and aortic root reconstruction at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California. So you know, Dr. Caffarelli is a heart valve specialist having completed over 1,500 heart valve repair and replacement procedures.
Dr. Anthony Caffarelli (Hoag Hospital)
The great news is that Tom’s surgery was a complete success. As Tom wrote to me, “Dr. Caffarelli and the Hoag Hospital team did a great job. I had no complications and no pain.”
Here is Tom showing his healing scar just two weeks after surgery!
Specific to Dr. Caffarelli, Tom shared with me, “At my consult with Doctor Caffarelli, Barb (my wife) and I were impressed. He ‘checked off’ all of the traits that I was looking for in a heart surgeon – reputation, skill, knowledge, heavy work-load, personality, trained and courteous staff. I was surprised that during our talk, I actually started to feel confident.”
Tom Sends Me A New Heart?
After finishing cardiac rehabilitation classes at Hoag Hospital, Tom’s recovery was complete. Woo-Whoo!!!
Needless to say, that is the best part of this story. Tom is back enjoying life with his three grandchildren – Patrick, Brooklyn and Connor. Plus, Tom and Barb are off on new adventures together.
However, Tom’s patient success story took an unexpected turn when I checked my mailbox. There, I saw a heavy package addressed from Tom Everson.
When I opened the box, I was overwhelmed with a breath-taking gift that emerged from lots-and-lots of bubble wrap.
Tom had sent me the most beautiful glass heart that was blown by Alyssa Getz and Tommy Cudmore.
My initial thoughts were, “Stunning!”, “Unbelievable!”, “Holy Moly!”, “How Kind!” and “Amazing!”.
I immediately sent Tom an appreciative “Thank You” note. This was a totally unnecessary gesture. I was overwhelmed in joy and thankfulness.
As you might have guessed, I cleared off the left-corner of my desk so that I can look upon Tom’s glass heart as much as possible.
In fact, I’m staring at it right now. 🙂
Thanks Tom! Thanks Dr. Caffarelli & Hoag!
Many, many, many thanks to Tom Everson for providing me the special opportunity to support his journey to a healthy heart.
I also need to thank Dr. Caffarelli and the Hoag Hospital team for taking such excellent care of Tom, Barb and the entire Everson family.
Keep on tickin’ Tom!