I wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your family. I talked with your parents last night and today and they said that the surgery was a success and that you are doing great! I will stay in touch. Sincerely, your cousin, Brent
Good luck with your surgery. I had a mitral valve repair on March 2 and everything went very well. I am home recovering and can not believe how fast I am progressing. I wish you only the best and hope you are soon reporting on your successful surgery.
I had a mitral valve repair February 25, 1998 and will have a re-repair of my mitral valve April 15th at Cleveland Clinic. I have experienced the power and peace of prayer and will be praying for you and also for your surgeon...and your family too! What great things the Lord can accomplish!
Carla Hansen (PBG,FL)
"Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you WHEREVER you go". Joshua 1:9
We will remember you in prayer tonight and again tomorrow. May the surgeons skillfully perform all that is necessary to make you strong and well. Tom's cousin had this same surgery in Houston 30 or more years ago under the watchful care of the famous heart surgeon and his team. He has been back at least one time that we recall but is extremely active in his pastoral work in Cincinnati and travels worldwide leading tours. Think how far this type of surgery has progressed in all these years since!
May God surround you and your family with His love!
Tom and Mary Frances Carlson
Just wanted you guys to know we are remembering you and praying for you this weekend as you prepare for the surgery on Monday. The waiting is almost over! You will soon have this behind you, and that's great! May you experience God's peace, presence, and healing as we did!
Just writing to say I'm wishing you peaceful thoughts as you enter this last stage before surgery. I think one of the most difficult parts of the surgery for busy people is facing the forced downtime afterwards. Hang in there. Cheryl, Ontario
Your ole' buddy from Nashville, Ms. Kristi. Funny that you always called me that and it's the name the children call me at school now:). You are going to do great next week! I am praying for your surgery to be a success and for your recovery. You have lots of people who love you and are praying for you. The Lord will wrap his arms around you and watch over you and your family. From a fellow heart patient, even though I was very young I always knew that the Lord was watching over me and taking care of me. I pray that you have that same comfort.
Love your fellow heart patient:-),
Mt. Juliet, TN
Hey Michael, Its your cousin Margaret. You and Colleen look awesome. I was so sorry to hear from Aunt Gena about your surgery. I am sure you will be fine and will be determined to recover quickly. The Lord is with you and promises that "He will never leave or forsake you". I am sure, because He says in His word!He also says that He will use this trial to bring you closer to Him. I am also sure that He is strengthening your faith in this and the faith of your family and all of those who touch you life. He will use your wittness in a mighty way. When mom passed on to Glory, I saw God work in a mighty way. A good friend said to me, if the Lord uses this to bring even one more to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, isnt it all worth it? Of course it is!!! He will work it all for good for those who love Him!!! He is in complete control, Michael!! It is comforting to know that His Will and Plan for your life is in His hands only. I am praying for you and Colleen and the kids. Even though we dont see each other, you are preciuos to me. Your Aunt Mary absolutely loved you and was so proud of you. She adored her nephews!!! As do all the Harpers!
Love to you always,
2 Cor 12:9-10
And He said to me, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My stength is made perfect in weakness."Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, for when I am weak, then I am strong."
Just wanted to reach out to you before your procedure. I have every confidence in the world that you will push through this event without a glitch. Your FedEx family will be thinking about you throughout the entire ordeal...keep your head up, stay positive, and get back soon!
Hey Michael! I can totally relate to your feelings. Up until Christmas 2009 I was active & never gave my bicuspid aortic valve another thought. Then once I developed shortness of breath doing my favorite activity (playing bagpipes) and climbing stairs (never a problem before then) it was a very fast ride to the OR for a new valve.
Will be sending prayers your way as your surgery date approaches. Good luck & God bless!
I understand your thinking I feel so great how could I need surgery. The night before my surgery on March 2, 2010, I went to dinner and walked all over NYC...I felt so great. I am thanking God now (as Cheryl says in our entry) for my new chapter in life. I went thru the operation with flying colors and am happy to be home recovering. Although those feelings of doom do creep in for even the most positive person, try hard to think positively I think this really helped me through the whole process. The doctors also strongly believe in the power of positive thinking.
Great idea to have a little get-away before your surgery. It will give you some time to plan and reflect and just be together. Don't despair that there won't be more holidays, because the next one you take you are going to be thanking God for the new lease on life you'll have been given. Mark my words.
I'll be following your journal regularly for updates and you and your wife and family will be in my prayers. You are going to get through this so remain strong.
My husband is off to Crossville? Tennessee in a few weeks for a golf trip. He and some friends go every year and just love it. They stay at a Wyndham resort there. When the weather gets a little cold these crazy Canadians are the only golfers on the course.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday. Cheryl, Ontairo
Glad you're enjoying Cape San Blas and St Joseph Peninsula. It really is beautiful up there! It's a really good thing that you guys can be together out in God's creation to bolster up for your surgery. I know Peggy and I did so with only 1 day away at Canaveral National Seashore the Monday of my surgery, but it did us so much good. I hope you got my guestbook message below. Your case and my case are so alike. Except for some very minor symptoms, I felt fine going into surgery, and would never have had a clue 4 months ago that I would be having heart surgery. Who? Me? I really get it. Keep in touch, and I'll be praying for you as March 22 approaches.
We hope you are having a restful time at the beach. We also want you know that our prayers are with you now & will continue to be with you through the surgery & afterwards. I have heard good things about your doctor and we pray wisdom for him and for all those who will be in surgery with him. We know you will have great care from your wonderful wife and lots of support from your family. We appreciate the opportunity to receive updates on your progress. All of your family is very dear to us.
Uncle Bob & Aunt Becky
Thanks for your guestbook entry and for following my progress. It's cool how God helps us all care about and care for each other. Peggy truly is an amazing and strong woman. I'm blessed that we celebrated 32 years of marriage in December.
I'd be happy to meet you in person. But Cape San Blas is in the Panhandle and is a 7-hour drive from here. I know because we have a son who lives in Panama City Beach with his family, just a bit further west from there. We live directly between Tampa and Orlando about 20 miles south of I-4. I assume you're going to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Really stunning. Unfortunately, expect the water to be cold up there, especially with this winter. But the pure white sand and the emerald waters are amazing! Enjoy!
Knowing the distance, if you're still up for it, sure. But it is a long way up there. I'd be happy to talk over the phone. Send me your number, or I am easily looked up.
Are you still scheduled for surgery on 3/22? In Knoxville? I may have already suggested this long time ago, but you might want to check out Thomas Deakins' journal. He also lives in Knoxville/Farragt. Great guy!
I've been really tired the last several days, so I feel like I'm on a recovery plateau, not feeling great progress right now. Guess that's normal. Anyhow, you take care, and let's connect some way.
I know we will both be happy when your surgery is over. I am looking forward to attending Rehab classes with you. The exercise, lessons, and time spent together will be fun and good for us both.
We are in your parents' neighborhood--the ones who try to grow roses. Several times a week we talk with your dear mother and father and are praying for your full recovery. I am also in a Bible study group who prays regularly for our friends and family. We will add you to our list. You are so wonderful to your parents, and they love you dearly! We will stay in touch! Tom and Mary Frances Carlson
hello michael. it's cindy. i am so glad your sweet mom called me to let me know what is going on in your life..i am so sorry u r having to go through the
Hello Michael..its Cindy..I am so sorry you r having to think about all this scary stuff older people have to think about...omg i always forget we r older people..bummer...Matt's dad just did this surgery for the exact same reason except he is 14 years older and week 3 he said he felt like a 20 year old..I am so looking forward to the news that you r having the same experience... love u... Cindy
Michael, we will be praying for you and we thank you for sharing your journal with us.
Your dear parents are our very dear friends and neighbors and they have given us this web-site to keep up with you.
I want to share a devotion that I read recently by Sarah Young.
"Come to ME, and rest in MY loving Presence. You know that this day will bring difficulties, and you are trying to think your way through those trials. As you anticipate what is ahead of you, you forget that I am with you--now and always. Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur. Do not multiply your suffering in this way! Instead, come to Me, and relax in My Peace. I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust. Matthew 11:28-30; Joshua 1:5,9"
God Bless you and your family as you prepare
for this surgery.
Sam and Shirlee
Things have a way of working out. Believe in what you can do and refuse to give up. Forget what everybody tells you what you can and can't do. Rusty is a good example. He had a potentially massive stroke 5 years ago next month. He is totally blocked (100%) on the left side of his coratatid , the right side is 40+ blocked, both of them all the way to his brain. There is no surgical options for either. He has recovered alot of things by sheer will and determination,as I'm sure you will also.Now, He is not only the oldest person in his class, but he ranks 6th in his class. In 2 years he will be a journeyman electrician , at the age of 57.Not bad for a stroke victim that couldn't even talk to me when it happened.I'll say a prayer for you also, that you also have the sense to listen to yourself, to know what you can and will do for yourself,and that you have the sense to know what you can do for yourself despite what any doctor tells you can or cannot do. Trust me things will work out and doctors don't know the power of the mind or your will to get better. Good luck and we wish the best for you. you will be in our prayers and thoughts
Love Rusty & Terry Sharp
How are the nerves holding up? As Duane posted, there have been a few scares but we are all still here - a little rattled but here. This is pretty scary stuff but sometimes it helps to read the journals and see what others are going through. There are a lot of great recovery stories here. I'll be keeping an eye on your journal for updates.
Thanks for posting to my guestbook. Sorry to hear you too have heart valve issues needing surgery. But there is great community and support here. Sorry for scaring you with all my complications! I was known around Florida Hospital as the miracle and the tough nut patient who wanted to try everything. Nothing like what happened to me (stroke part) had happened there in 4 years. I pray things will be much easier and smoother for you.
If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the journal for Thomas Deakins, who also lives in Knoxville and had his aortic valve surgery in December at Vanderbilt.
I was born in 3/1959 in Detroit, Michigan, have been married to Peggy since 12/1977, with 5 grown kids and 8 grandkids.
This week, as I worked around the house one day, a memory popped into my mind for the first time in many years! You and Beecher were very young. We were on one of our delightful camping trips by the stream at Elkmont. You, your brother and dad were busy around the camp site. I was sitting in a chair enjoying a good book. It was a perfect day! I looked up at the beautiful blue sky with large puffy white clouds floating by, and the tops of the large green trees beneath.
I noticed that the top of the tallest tree was swaying back and forth. I remarked to your dad that I couldn't understand why it was moving, because none of the other trees were, and there was no wind. The tree was extremely dense, and it was impossible to see into it. I walked over to its trunk to investigate and there you were at the very top, gleefully swinging back and forth! I froze in disbelief and called to your dad, "It's Michael in the tree!" I stood there trembling in disbelief and silently begging God to bring you down safely. We had no support system. There were no firemen with safety nets. Even though your dad and I were physically fit and slim at the time it was impossible for us to climb the tree and carry you down safely. There were many limbs close together, but few large enough and strong enough to support us. Your dad in a calm voice talked you down limb by limb. After what seemed like an eternity, you were in our arms.
Your surgery is a new experience for us! We will be there and pray for you each day, but I won't tremble with fear. We will have a large support system with many friends and family members praying for you and your safe recovery. In the operating room will be an outstanding surgeon and an excellent team of medical professionals there to assist him, all carefully researched and selected by your beautiful loving, and well informed wife, Colleen. Most important, our Heavenly Father will be in that operating room, guiding the surgeon and his staff. He will care for you just like he did when you were swaying in the giant evergreen, and carefully guided you down.
He will again bring you back into our arms, our same wonderful son, but with a PERFECT HEART.