Mitral Valve Awareness: A Stethoscope Led to Howard’s Life-Saving Surgery
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: April 11, 2023
Within minutes of announcing the launch of Mitral Valve Awareness Disease Week, my inbox started to receive great patient stories in response to this global initiative.
For example, this email from Howard Powders really demonstrates the insidious nature of mitral valve disease. As you read Howard’s story, please consider that patients with severe mitral valve disease – who do not get treatment – have a mortality rate of 20% after one year and 50% after 5 years.
Howard & Erlinda Powders
In his email, Howard wrote to me:
Hi Adam, It was a general practitioner’s stethoscope – during my yearly physical exam – that probably saved my life. The general practitioner heard a heart murmur that got me to a cardiologist. I was then diagnosed with severe mitral valve regurgitation. Eventually, I had mitral valve repair with a great heart surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Hoffberger in Sarasota, Florida. This all happened 9 months ago.
Your website and Mitral Valve Disease Awareness Week is providing invaluable and comprehensive information to everyone diagnosed with mitral valve disease! Thank you!”
As for the recovery, I am a walker. So, I began walking every day at home after my three days in the hospital. One week after surgery, I was walking outside again like pre-op. As I learned in one of your new videos… If you are active and exercising pre-op, you will recover faster.
Now, there is nothing I can’t do! The incision soreness has finally dissipated about 90% now. That took around 9 months. I went for minimally invasive mitral valve repair. I was 77 at the time of the surgery but in excellent health. My surgeon told me I have no cardiovascular disease. I hope you are doing well too. Your website is absolutely terrific!
Thanks Howard for Sharing Your Story!
On behalf of our community, many thanks to Howard for sharing his mitral valve success surgery story. I am thrilled to learn how a quick listen of Howard’s heart with a stethoscope led to the detection of severe mitral valve disease which may have saved his life.
- Surgeon Q&A: How is Mitral Valve Disease Treated?
- Top 5 Considerations for Mitral Valve Surgery Patients
- Mitral Valve Disease Awareness Week Educational Microsite
Keep on tickin’ Howard!