I’m Andy, I’m 33, I am an avid fisherman, I love to camp and ride dirt bikes. I build aluminum boats for a living out here in Seattle, Wa. I was born with Aortic stenosis, bicuspid valve, and wpw (wolf parkinson white). It seems I’ve always had palpitations , but I never had any symptoms growing up, and never really saw anything until I turned about 30. Fall of 2020, I started getting really lightheaded off and on at work…to the point of almost passing out… so I started to try and figure out what it was. At the time I was drinkin 3 beers a night and a couple mocha drinks during the week. Well during the span of the next few months, I would try and eliminate beer for a couple weeks, and then mochas for a couple weeks. Couldn’t quite pin point what was causing the lightheadedness. Jan 24 2020, a Friday night, I drank 5 beers, which for me at the time wasn’t abnormal, woke up the next morning to clean the garage, and felt like I was having a full blown stroke. Lost all feeling in my arms and legs, they felt like jello. I started freaking out. My wife told me to sit down, which eventually helped. Went to the ER, they did a bunch of testing and couldn’t find anything other then the fact I was “mildly dehydrated”. I felt that was my heart saying ok u need to stop… I haven’t had a drink since that day :) Anyways, so for the last two years, I still have gotten lightheaded here and there, and the only thing I can really pinpoint is if I don’t drink enough water… and nowdays it seems like it takes more water for me to stay hydrated then it did a few years ago.
I’ve always seen a cardiologist over the years. Then it came down to where I was doing an Echo once a year, and then recently it started becoming every 6 months. The last two visits we really focused our attention on my dilated aorta, it was measured back in December at 4.6 cm. The discussion began of which valve I was going to have to go with when the time came. He basically wanted me to start researching, which was no surprise to me because I’ve always known I was gonna need surgery/valve replacement. The discussion really has always been mechanical valve (On-X), due to my younger age (now almost 33). So since December 2021, I really started reading up on other valve options because I REALLY don’t want to be on blood thinners the rest of my life. I do alot of dirt biking and fishing/camping where I’m
1,2,3 hours away from the nearest hospital. So eventually I stumbled on the Ross Procedure….. hmmm, you have two biological valves, I like the sound of this… learned quickly that there is no need for lifetime blood thinners. Of course I did hours and hours and weeks of research. Finally got a referral from my cardiologist to see Dr Burke at UW Medicine. met with him 2 weeks ago and I was super nervous because I SO wanna be a candidate for the ross , after our discussion of my particular heart and anatomy etc. he had said I am an EXCELLENT Candidate for the ross procedure!! Before the appointment, they did a CT heart scan and the widest point of my dilated aorta is actually 4.8cm. His recommendation is 6-12 months for surgery.
So currently, I am set up for June 15th with Dr Burke at UW to have the Ross procedure done! Along with the valve swaps, they will replace my aorta with the Dacron sleeve. A big part of me is actually excited to have the procedure done, as I have always been SO sensitive to my body and my heart my entire life. I have always kind of had a constant check on my heart… if I felt a palpitation I would stop and check my pulse, and wait a minute to see if it stopped or continued etc. (which I still do). Now I check my ekg with my Apple Watch and sure enough, sometimes it picks up the funky rhythm and shows it as Afib.
Anyways. I am super excited/a little nervous about my surgery. I feel myself getting stressed easier ever since my appointment, so I’m trying to manage that. I made an appointment with Electro-physiology to talk about having the ablation done to get rid of my WPW-which I will need to do before the Ross surgery.
Update: April 8th
Had my cardiac ablation done on April 6th to get rid of my WPW syndrome!! Everything went well, they had to induce Afib to help locate the exact position of the electrical connection. 1 step closer to the ROSS!
That’s my valve story! If anyone ever wants to chat about any of this stuff or has any questions free to message me!
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
June 15, 2022
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve
My surgery was:
Aortic Aneurysm Replacement