On January 12, 2014...
Gabi x posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie I have been wondering what you are up to regarding your MV repair/replacement. As I am on the other side of the world I am no help at all advising you on Dr's, hospitals etc. All I can do is pray. And you know what? This really works - just look how we have all pulled together to get Rachel to where she is now. My prayers for you Debbie are that you will be guided in the very direction that is right for YOU! Please keep posting.
Debbie cross  Thank you Gabi.I have been praying for Rachel and her family.I can't imagine how difficult this has been for her.So glad you are doing well! I am just afraid ... Read more
On December 14, 2013...
Shelly Poluka posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,
How are you doing these days? Hope you are feeling a little better.
On November 27, 2013...
Ernie A.S. posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie!!!

Where'd you go? What's happening?
On November 5, 2013...
Deb Ziegler posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,

You have been in my thoughts, and I am wondering how you are doing. Have you had a second opinion yet? I still can't believe all you went through only to still be facing the same problem. I hope you are getting some answers and that you are feeling okay.
Stay strong........God will bless you.

On October 27, 2013...
Janis Kielbasa posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie, I had mitral valve repair December 28, 2011 at Northwestern. I had Dr. Chris. Malaisrie, perform my surgery at the age of 54. I am doing great. I was impressed with the care at Northwestern and consider it top in this field. It is an excellent hospital and I feel if I had my surgery at a local hospital my results would not be the same. I chose a full sternotomy because I wanted doctors having full viewing and less time on heart lung. My scar is not bad at all and recovery was tolerable. I am back to all my previous activities and even added more. Good Luck to you. Don't worry, you will do great and be fine.
On October 15, 2013...
Jean Cook posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie
I had my mitral valve replaced with a cow valve back in April at Northwestern by Dr McCarthy. I am62. I feel so much better. I did 12 weeks of Cardiac rehab and now am going to the gym 3x a week. It sounds like you have been on a roller coaster with all the decision making. I am so sorry. I just wanted to tell you dr McCarthy is very good. The nurses at Northwestern on 11w are fantastic. They are great at explaining things. I was discharged after 6 days. You can read my journal if you like. Dr Mc Carthy was originally from the Cleveland Clinic. There is. A Bible verse Isaiah 43:13 that will help get rid of your fear. The Lord will take you by your right hand. Just make a fist with your right hand and imagine Him holding on to you. He will never let go.
Debbie cross  Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am in the process of sending my records to Dr.McCarthy.Since I can't have surgery here I want to have a plan in ... Read more
On October 9, 2013...
jeff o posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie, I can really empathize with the ups and downs you have had.

This whole surgery or not decision was an emotional roller coaster for me. I was originally advised to have surgery within 1 year, then advised by local surgeon to have surgery in as soon as 2 weeks. Got a second opinion from Cleveland they advised to go to watchful waiting, then they advised me to get surgery for my aneurysm..... Once we got to Cleveland my cardiologist discussed the possibility that I shouldn't have surgery yet. Went through all my testing. They found my aneurysm had grown to 5.6cm from the 4.8 cm it measured 4 months before. Then it became unquestionable that I needed surgery, soon. Which I had.
On October 9, 2013...
jeff o posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie, wishing you all the best.
Debbie cross  Thank you Jeff.I am glad you have the surgery behind you.Hope you feel better every day!
On September 6, 2013...
Ernie posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie!!

What's happening, Sweety? I hope you and your cardiologist are working to figure out what needs to be done. You need to get to where you are feeling well and are happy. Wishing the best for you.
On August 4, 2013...
gabrielle Stinson posted a note for Debbie that says:
Dear Debbie, I am holding you up for a blessing with all the love in the world. I wont stop praying for you until we get some answers. Love Gabrielle x
On August 2, 2013...
Renee Radocaj posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie - so sorry to hear of your experience. I cannot imagine how you must have felt. I'm sure there is a reason even if we do not understand. You will be in my thoughts in the coming weeks.

I appreciate the scriptures on your journal. They are giving me courage and strength. Take care!!

Debbie cross  Hello Renee, In 2006 I started started having my first dizzy/fainting episodes.I was at the the cardiologist office(had annual echocardiogram)and an intern ... Read more
On August 1, 2013...
Deb Ziegler posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,

You have been through so much, and you still don't have any answers......it has to be so difficult! I will pray that God sends you the answers you need.

Did Cleveland give you a copy of the TEE they did while you were on the table? I would think any future surgeon would want to see that right away. Good luck with your search, and hang in there......God will give you the strength to get through this!
Debbie cross  Deb, my cardiologist said Cleveland sent a letter with the results of my testing.He said the OR TEE had the leakage at a 2 ,but the echocardiogram on Monday(2 ... Read more
On August 1, 2013...
Joe posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie,
I am not pleased either just reading about it. I encourage you to get a second opinion and HIGHLY recommend my surgeon Dr David Adams at Mt Sinai hospital in NYC. He is amazing and has a team who care about the patient. I also have been very impressed with Mt Sinai hospital.
Debbie cross  Joe, I agree, you are having surgery at a great place! I was so impressed with the cardiologist from Mount Sinai that did the Webinar.They explained so much.You ... Read more
On July 25, 2013...
Ernie posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie!

(Hopefully you're the same Debbie Cross that signed my guestbook) :)

I hope you're checking with some other doctors about your condition. I'm real interested to hear that everything gets resolved for the best. Post in your journal when you've got some news. (hopefully GOOD news).

Good luck, and best wishes.
On July 16, 2013...
Joe Kusiak posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,
That is so strange and it appears not a lot of communication. There are so many great surgeons and some at the Cleveland Clinic. I live in NYC so I am lucky to have so many great hospitals and surgeons very close. I chose Dr Adams after my wife and I met with him. We both felt so very comfortable and he has an amazing reputation. Also his staff is amazing and Mt Sinai is highly rated. I had my cath done there and everyone was very friendly and nice.
On July 8, 2013...
Michele posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Deb, and happy belated anniversary! Yes, although things went fast for me I think things went as they should. No road blocks and I believe that God would of put one in the way. I haven't been to church in a few weeks & can tell in my thoughts/attitude I'm much better when I attend. So, why were you having a plastic surgeon? Do you know when you will hear from your cardiologist? Thanks for chatting, Michele
Debbie cross  Michele,church is what keeps me focused! It was strange to read in our bulletin( June 30)that I had heart surgery Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic!Last Sunday ... Read more
On July 6, 2013...
Michele posted a note for Debbie that says:
Yes, I feel great! There is some sporadic dizziness but nothing like before the surgery. It's great you have the support of your family & sounds like you have a great husband. This may sound crazy as a single woman it's been hard for me I am still dealing with the insecurity of having my scar. I'm always trying to hide it with necklaces, scarfs, the right cut of shirt. Trying to start getting back out there dating : ) smiley I think! I don't want my scar to be the topic of conversation and to be looked upon as a sick person. Anyway, I can't wait to hear what your cardiologist says. As we know Miracles do happen : )
Debbie cross  Michele,I get it about the scar.I guess I was so convinced I would be having robotic surgery that until the day before surgery when the surgeon said I would ... Read more
On July 3, 2013...
Michele posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Deb.

I hope you are doing well. You asked me what my diagnosis was (severe aortic insuffiency). The Cleveland Clinic said they could repair robotically/minimally invasive? The surgeon I saw said he would only do the traditional open heart & that has left me with a 4 1/2 inch scar down my sternum. I am reminded every day which at times makes me dwell & doubt my choices which includes that 2nd opinion I failed to get. While all along doubting the mixed signals coming from my cardiologist. My surgery was in 2010 which I can't believe I still think about it. During my discussion at the surgeons office he suggested a pig valve & said I was to young to be on meds everyday. Then following up with 10-15yrs & another replacement. I couldn't believe it and then he continued on to say a mechanical valve I would be able to hear at times. Like you I asked the surgeon without a doubt should I have this surgery & he said yes. The only symptoms I had were extreme dizziness & fatigue, both pushed me into making a quick decision. Prior to the heart murmur I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and am now taking the correct dose for that & slight vertigo. This is why I doubt my choices one can only hope these surgeons/doctors know what there doing. I understand your concerns with your family history/experiences. Look forward to hearing from you & enjoy the holiday!

Debbie cross  Michele, how are you feeling now? Do you feel better?
On July 3, 2013...
kathrynusa@yahoo.com posted a note for Debbie that says:
where would you go for a second opinion? What are you going to do now?
God Bless, Kathryn
Debbie cross  Kathryn, we are feeling weary after this ordeal and very unsure about it all! My cardiologist has requested all test results and I will meet with him in a few ... Read more
On July 3, 2013...
Gabrielle Stinson posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie, Debbie, Debbie, darling, what you and your family have been through I am so sorry darling. How are you coping now what an absolute shock and horror. For some reason you were not meant to have the surgery at that time maybe we will never know the reason. Sending a blanket of love to comfort you. G x
Debbie cross  Gabrielle, I do hope this does not happen to others.I have not heard of anyone else having this experience.I feel like you, It was not meant to be.Thank you for your encouragement.
On July 2, 2013...
Brandy posted a note for Debbie that says:
Who was your surgeon?
Debbie cross  Marc Gillinov
On July 2, 2013...
Brandy R posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie! I have been thinking about you! Have you gotten any answers?
Debbie cross  Brandy, I have not. My cardiologist has sent a request for my test results and wanted to review those first.I just have to enjoy the summer and have faith this was meant to be.
On July 1, 2013...
Connie T posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie...
I read your story with much sadness in my heart. I had my AVR in July of last year at Cleveland Clinic, and your whole experience is certainly, to say the least, totally unacceptable!!!! Push to get the answers you need....do not stop until you are satisfied!! I will keep you in my prayers as you continue your journey. God Bless you, Debbie, as you move forward!
Debbie cross  Connie, thank you for the kind words! So glad you are doing well!
On June 30, 2013...
Michele posted a note for Debbie that says:
I had surgery in Nov 2010. Everything happened so fast and I didn't get a second opinion. My family Dr. Listened to my heart Sept 2010 and sent me for an echo & then referred me to a cardiologist who said to me at my 1st appt that I should research as to what type of valve I would prefer for surgery. My head was spinning at this point & I new nothing about heart surgery/valves. As time went by I got mixed signals from him. He also sent me to a surgeon that recommended I have the surgery. My cardiologist was on vacation that week and when he came back acted surprised that I was moving forward with the surgery. I can't believe it will be 3 years in Nov 2013 and I still struggle with my cardiologists attititude & mixed signals. I still to this day struggle with did I make the right decision. I need to trust that God had his hand in my situation and things moving quickly. I do believe he has a plan for us all, and yours was not to have surgery at this time for a reason only he knows. Please pray for me as I will for you too ! Look forward to hearing from you.
Debbie cross  Michele, what were you told about your regurgitation/ leakage? The surgeon was so convincing the day before that it was time. Also after Cleveland Clinic called ... Read more
On June 29, 2013...
Michele posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Deb!

Would love to talk further after hearing your journey & traveling to a well renowned clinic, my doubts of not getting a second opinion ( which I still struggle with lessened)! God works In mysterious ways : ). Let me know if you would like to talk, Michele
Debbie cross  I would be happy to.When is your surgery?
On June 28, 2013...
kathrynusa@yahoo.com posted a note for Debbie that says:
How do you feel otherwise any symptoms? If you are having symptoms, test don't mean anything.
Debbie cross  Shortness of breath, tired, fatigue and lightheadedness, almost fainting spells since 2006 have been more frequent. was wearing a monitor and went/sent to ER. For cardioversion in January.
On June 28, 2013...
Deb Z posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie,

You have been in my thoughts ever since I read about your nightmare. I find it so disturbing on so many levels......it is just plain wrong to do that to someone. I didn't even know it was POSSIBLE to get that far into it and then pull the plug. You definitely did the right thing by letting everyone on this sight know. Please keep us informed on what is next for you, and let me know if I can help in any way. I can't imagine what a roller coaster this has been for you and your whole family. I hope you can at least have a happy reunion with your son!
take care,
Debbie cross  Deb,thanks, you have been so helpful. I can only hope that they made the best decision (from the O.R. test. We felt we were in the best place, with the best ... Read more
On June 28, 2013...
Brandy R posted a note for Debbie that says:
I can't believe after all you had been through ....all your expenses....and the fact that that you're a PERSON--they didn't give you a full explanation. And do I remember correctly that you have symptoms!? Bizarre.
Debbie cross  Once they told me I should have surgery within 6 months, we have been preparing for it.I would have been great Tuesday if the surgeon had said, you're not ready(, ... Read more
On June 28, 2013...
Carolyn posted a note for Debbie that says:
I would defiantly get some answers. Get a hold of your medical records and see your cardiologist ASAP! Too weird.
Debbie cross  So happy you are home!
On June 27, 2013...
Shelly Poluka posted a note for Debbie that says:
Debbie,
So distressing. Was the last test a T.E.E.?
I was told you can get a good look at the valves with that test and you need to be sedated not intubated. Please continue to journal as I am curious t
o know why you were scheduled for surgery and the surgery did not take place. I am feeling uneasy right now as my husband is scheduled for his surgery Aug. 12th.
Debbie cross  Shelly, you are correct about the T.E.E I have had them before. I thought that might be 1 of the test they would do.He did not say specifically to Phillip.JUST ... Read more
On June 27, 2013...
Brandy Robbins posted a note for Debbie that says:
Omgosh!!
So what if it gets bad again? BACK for surgery!?
What surgeon?
Debbie cross  My cardiologist referred me to Cleveland clinic. Sent all my records,they called me and said Dr.Gillinov felt I should have my valve repaired within 6 months. ... Read more
On June 27, 2013...
Deb Z posted a note for Debbie that says:
That is CRAZY!! I hope they are giving you a real explanation. Now what are you supposed to do?? I can't imagine going through all that and then waking up with nothing done. What a nightmare!
Stay strong and hang in there!
Debbie cross  Heartbroken, so to speak. On the way home
On June 27, 2013...
Becky and Wendy posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hello Debbie and Phillip,
We just wanted to let you know that we were thinking of you both and your family. We hope that you get some good news and get to come home soon.
On June 26, 2013...
Wendy posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie and Phillip,
I just logged in and updated my mom (Becky Welborn) about your progress. Keep smiling and get plenty of rest. You and your family are in our prayers. We look forward to seeing you soon.
On June 26, 2013...
kathrynusa@yahoo.com posted a note for Debbie that says:
Thinking of you both!
God Bless!
Kathryn
On June 25, 2013...
Debbie Martindill posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hey Debbie,
Praying for you, your family and surgeon.
Love you,
Debbie
On June 25, 2013...
Deb Z posted a note for Debbie that says:
The good news about having a sternotomy is that you will have less pain.
It takes longer to heal, but the pain is less.
You will do great tomorrow, and then you will be on the other side. The wait will be over and you can relax!

Peace be with you and God Bless!

P.S. I forgot to mention......before you get out of ICU, ask for a room with a view in step-down. Some of the rooms have awesome views, and some look at a wall. It's not a big deal, but go for one with a view, if you can. Might as well make it as pleasant as possible!
On June 25, 2013...
Carolyn posted a note for Debbie that says:
Good luck. All will go well.
On June 24, 2013...
Brandy Robbins posted a note for Debbie that says:
Praying for you!
On June 24, 2013...
Deb Z posted a note for Debbie that says:
Robert Redford???? Now that is a nice distraction!
Debbie cross  Yes! He is here making the movie"Captain America"
On June 24, 2013...
Brandy Robbins posted a note for Debbie that says:
I am sending you prayers and easy recovery vibes as I am waiting to hear back from Cleveland on my upcoming surgery.
Debbie cross  Thank you so much!
On June 24, 2013...
Deb Z posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,

Testing day is a long one, so hang in there. I guarantee you will feel better about everything after you talk to Dr. Gillinov. He oozes with confidence and kindness, and you can ask him anything you are worried about. The whole thing is truly scary, but as DVB said, it is better than the alternative. And you will feel soooo much better in just a few short weeks. So stay strong.....you have a wonderful life ahead of you!
Thinking of you and praying for you,


Debbie cross  Debbie it all got better when Robert Redford got on the hotel elevator with us!
On June 23, 2013...
kathrynusa@yahoo.com posted a note for Debbie that says:
I'm not having surgery yet. I do live in Ohio and am interested in Cleveland Clinic.
I have a aortic valve and slightly enlarged heart.
On June 23, 2013...
Karen Sanders posted a note for Debbie that says:
Thinking and praying for you during the testing, surgery and recovery. Love ya
On June 23, 2013...
kathrynusa@yahoo.com posted a note for Debbie that says:
Thinking of u. Please let us know what type of testing . I will be reading closely.
God bless and keep you!!! Your in Great hands Gods and the Doctors.

. I listen to Dr. Lawlis meditation. I found him through Dr. Phil .
He has helped me a lot.
Debbie cross  Thank you so much! What type surgery are you having?
On June 21, 2013...
DVB posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie. Thanks for the kind words in my guestbook. Now, take a deep breath. MV repair surgery is scary, because well, when was the last time somebody poked around in your heart with sharp things? Now consider just letting it slide, no surgery. Gotta be way tons scarier, because that's a long, slow, dreadful trip with no return, eh? So you are on the right path, the least scary one, and in fact, this surgery is going to save your life - give it back - give you back all the years that your wonky valve was ready to steal from you. Debbie: soon to be a winner is what I say.

The CC folks are the best in the business. They are going to take good care of you. Your job is to prepare yourself for the surgery so it can be the safest it can be. And prepare yourself for your recovery so it can be the best it can be too. If you commit yourself to those tasks between now and the 26th, you will be at peace because you have done everything you can. Maybe even be excited about your surgery, knowing that your whole life is back in front of you, waiting to be experienced. Get jazzed by that wonderful idea. In a way it is magical. Your life is about to be saved - and changed in ways you'll forever be grateful for - it's transcendent.

My thoughts are with you, as are the thoughts of many folks here. You are not just going to be OK, you are going to thrive.
On June 17, 2013...
Deb posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,

I appologize for my poorly written and confusing guestbook entry yesterday! I was in a hurry, and I obviously didn't read your journal entry very well. Oh well.

I don't want you to freak out about your drive home. I know I was really worried about that before my surgery also, but it went really well. I was so relieved to have the surgery behind me and to be going home that the drive was really kind of relaxing and enjoyable. And you will have drugs to make you comfortable:) Be sure to bring lots of pillows and maybe a blanket for the ride home. You have a longer drive than I did, but I really think you will be fine. Be sure to stop every hour or two to walk around. The doctors stressed that it was very important to prevent blood clots. Just don't leave Cleveland until you feel ready. I left on day ten after surgery, but I don't think I would have been ready much before that. Stop at a hotel when you get tired. No need to rush, even though you will really be looking forward to getting home.

I hope you are able to enjoy your time at home this week. I know it is hard!

Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

God bless,
On June 16, 2013...
Rebecca Phillips posted a note for Debbie that says:
Thanks for the scripture, it's amazing how they take on new meaning when going through a trial like this.
Debbie cross  Where are you having surgery?
On June 16, 2013...
Deb Ziegler posted a note for Debbie that says:
Hi Debbie,

I just got your message in my guest book......you are probably on your way to Cleveland about. Isn't a strange drive to make??? Anyway, they will not allow you to wear any nail polish, jewelry or make up to surgery. I think they are pretty strict about that. As for the pain, it really wasn't bad at all for me. I was terrified that it would be, even though Dr. Gillinov assured me they wouldn't let it get above a three. My hysterectomy was WAY more painful! My sternum was numb for the first 36 hours, and I think that really helped. The most painful part was the drain tube I had, and that came out after 24 hours. They really do seem to stay on top of the pain. After reading a lot of journals, it seems that men have more pain than women (go figure).

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and positive, and you will be on the other side soon!
God Bless,

What hotel are you staying at?
Debbie cross  Hello Deb, We leave next Saturday.My surgery is the 26th. Thanks for the info.I am finally feeling better about it.We really don't have much choice! I read ... Read more
Debbie cross  The Intercontinental Suits.
On June 13, 2013...
Lauren Cross posted a note for Debbie that says:
I love you, everything is going to be alright.
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