Melissa posted a note for Charlie that says:
It has been a while since I've posted on Charlie's page. It has been 3months since he had his surgery. He has done extremely well. As you prepare and research for the procedure you will find the major post operatives complications will be death of course not good...., stroke, bleeding, atrial fibrillation, pericarfitis and infection. Charlie has overcome the big ones:))He has grown stronger everyday and is well on his way to a full recovery. I'd say the biggest things that helped were continuing to walk and remain active even when there were days he felt he couldn't. Also using the incentive spirometer minimally 10X a day was instrumental. I hope that this helps if you are in recovery now. I came from an ICU background and never appreciated the recovery to the extent I do now. It's a lot of work but you can do it!!!! I will leave you with a poem that I hope will keep you strong that is dedicated to Charlie.. It kept me strong as Charlie was going through his surgery. I hope it will do the same for you
Love to all of you and stay string one day at a time you will make it;))
To everything there is a season
And a time to every purpose
A time to be born,
A time to plant, and pluck up that which is planted
A time to be in disrepair and a time to heal
A time to breakdown, and a time to build up
A time to weep, and a time to laugh
A time to mourn a change, and a time to dance and embrace the change
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
A time to get, and a time to lose
A time to mend, and a time to sew
A time to speak, and a time to keep silence
A time of peace and a time of war
But most of all a time for love, to have loved and to be loved
I had my bi-cuspid aortic valve replaced March 17 2013. I knew I would need the surgery from childhood but did not expect to be admitted to the hospital directly from my routine appt on 3/17/12. It all went well and I feel better now at 50, then I have felt in many years. Cardiac rehab was very helpful for me, both emotionally and physically. Good support is such a blessing. Onward!! Julie
Hope you are recovering fast and that you will be able to quickly enjoy your daily routines again. Can't wait to read more on your journal. Lots of love and thoughts to you, Melisa and all your family and supporters :)
Glad to hear the great news! I just worked on a documentary this week about patients recovering from heart "surgery". Attitude is so important, as well as the love and help from those around you. Sounds like you've got a wonderful team of helpers. Never a fun experience, but sometimes a gentle reminder to smell the roses and love and live a little more thoroughly..... best, Chris C.
I even watched Dr. Murphy's presentation on YouTube. So, so glad his skill, along with his colleagues, was available to make you well again, Charlie.Your place in the Stud Man Hall of Fame is assured, and here's to the continuation of a long, long- and healthy- life. L'chaim!
The wait is almost over....soon you will be on the other side of this big adventure. I wish you peace, strength and a good nights sleep! My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow.
Godspeed and God Bless,
I have thought about you a lot since you told me you were doing this. However, the next days ahead you will be in my prayers and thoughts even more! I know you're in great hands with Melissa and your Doctor! The surgery will be a huge success with a fast recovery
Love you Charlie!!!
Dear Charlie, I am a 58 year old male and like you, I was diagnosed with a severely leaky mitral valve. After monitoring my situation for several years, my cardiologist finally recommended that I go ahead with surgery while I was still relatively 'young' and in good health. After researching a few surgeons and procedures, I opted to have my surgery with Dr. Marc Gillinov at the Cleveland Clinic. One of the main reasons I selected him was his experience with the minimally invasive robotic procedure (port access). I underwent successful surgery on Dec 8, 2011. If you are interested, you can read about my journal at
If there are any questions I can answer for you about my experience or assist in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me. Otherwise, I wish you good luck and a speedy recovery.
Welcome to the HVJ! It is an incredible resource for information AND support. I am glad you decided to put your story out there. I think you will be amazed at how much and how often you refer to it. I started my journal mainly to have a record of the whole process for myself, but I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received from family, friends and fellow journalers in the days leading up to my surgery. It brought me an unexpected peace and positivity (is that a word??). Anyways, it helped tremendously to know I had so many people out there rooting for me, and I am sure it will do the same for you.
Everyone on this site understands the anxiety you are experiencing in the days before surgery. Take comfort in the fact that you did your research and have a top notch team lined up to get the job done. It won't be nearly as bad as you are imagining, so stay strong and hang in there! You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.
Godspeed and good luck,
Hi Charlie B,
Waiting IS the hardest part. I'm 54. My Mitral Valve was repaired at St Mary's in Rochester MN on March 1st. Just had my one Month check-up this past Monday. The repair was good, no regurgitation. I tell you this to simply encourage you. I know everyone's situation is unique but I pray your repair will go well and you'll join the ranks of so many that have walked this path and made it through.. I just keep thinking of one word......miraculous! Wishing you all the best!
A fellow Mitral Valve repair Guy
I had my mitral valve replaced with a titanium valve at the Cleveland Clinic, Hillside Campus, Dr. Mark Botham. We are only 1 hour from the hospital. My valve was completely calcified and could not be repaired. I also tried for Dr. Gillinov (?) but went with Botham. OUTSTANDING!!! Can't say enough good about him, this was 12-12-11 so I am 15 mos out, turned 63 in January and what a world of difference. I did have the major chest open type of surgery, but recovery wasn't as bad as everyone said. Will read your posts and follow you through. You'll do fine!! And feel so much better. I couldn't take a shower without getting out of breath before, now walking over a mile is a snap!! Take care.
I had a Mitral Valve Repair two weeks ago today. I can assure you that the waiting was the worst. Not to say the recovery has been a piece of cake, but to know that I survived and will be here now for my family has been such a relief. I will be thinking of you and your family in the days to come and wish you the best.
Hello from another Sacramentan and heart valve patient (tricuspid repair 9/20/12) Like you, I am a private person and so decided not to post but I now have lots of regrets about that. It is surprising how much you can forget after you get through this.
I had my surgery right here in River City and was very pleased with my surgeon, the hospital and their rehab program. Robotic surgery was not a good option for me because of the extent of other repairs I needed. My recovery has been truly incredible. Better than new!
Best of luck to you in Atlanta. I will be following your progress.
Charlie, good luck. I had mv repair a year ago (MVP. 57 y/o healthy ). You'll do fine but be prepared for having your butt kicked a bit. In spite of the pep talk, it's a significant ordeal for many. Don't get down if it takes you longer to bounce back than you thought.
All these surgeons who say it's a piece of cake need to have the surgery themselves. I'm a doc and my perspective has changed considerably.