Like many, I will start with a heartfelt Thank You to Adam for getting this all started and for all of you who post your conditions, stories, and updates. You are an amazing group of people and I feel blessed to have found my way to this community. I have been researching my condition and surgery options in great detail and have been following this site in the periphery for some time. I too purchased Adam's book and blasted through it in a day. What a great resource! I am fairly private and don't have much of a presence on social media but decided it was time to get my story out there. I have found no single source of information better than what is found on this site and I hope that I too can be of benefit to someone searching for answers.
Hello all. I'm Mike. I am the husband of an amazing woman who keeps me grounded and is super supportive of all that I do. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary earlier this year and have two grown children. I recently had the honor of walking my daughter down the aisle at her wedding and my son has been married for a little over a year. I could not be happier with both of them and love my son in-law and daughter in-law respectively. All of this is a little funny since I'm mentally 24ish.... Maybe 25. I enjoy hiking, fly fishing, Jeep off-roading and camping, staying in shape, and spending time with family and friends.
As far as work goes: I am a Battalion Chief with a fire department in Southern California where I have been employed for the last 22 years. I have also been a Paramedic since 1996. I feel very fortunate to have worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic (thanks to the early influence of Johnny and Roy [you know if you know :) ] ), Engineer, Captain, and now Battalion Chief. I have been a Paramedic Preceptor, worked in diverse station assignments, been detailed to a couple long term staff assignments, have been involved in numerous projects, and am qualified in a number of positions to help manage large scale incidents like our wildfires in California.
I recently turned 50 (actually not mentally as previously believed) and was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic regurgitation 21 years ago. I have been under the care of a cardiologist ever since and had no symptoms that I knew of (or admitted) until recently. My symptoms likely started a few years ago where I look back and remember my heart rate increasing fairly significantly with exertion and that I started to drop exercises from my workouts. I became winded quicker during runs, found it harder to weight train, and would have to slow down significantly to catch my breath when hiking hills. Most of this I attributed to getting older or just being "out of shape". A couple months ago my wife an I went for a hike and during one of my "breath catching" episodes she lovingly said, "what's wrong with you...... when was the last time you saw your Cardiologist"... What followed soon after was a visit to my cardiologist, an echo, an updated diagnosis of severe stenosis, and a referral to a surgeon to get fixed...
I am now on track for a Ross Procedure to be performed by Dr. Alfredo Trento and his team @ Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on June 6th. I am looking forward to feeling better and have very little anxiety at this point as I believe I know what to expect. I will post as much of the procedure and recovery as possible.
If you are reading this and questioning your symptoms please go get evaluated by your cardiologist. If you have questions about various procedures, want to know how or why I chose a Ross Procedure, or would like some encouragement on your journey feel free to drop me a message.
Thanks for reading and, in advance, for your support.
Keep on Tickin' :)
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
Newbury Park, California
My surgery date is:
June 6, 2022
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve