We just went up and saw him, he looks great... In a relative term, he has enough fluids flowing into his body to float a cruise ship!
Wires galor, he is hooked up to nearly every machine known to man; however, the nurse says it's just "normal procedure".
It was a little weird to see my Dad, and my family to see Aubrey in a completely unconcious state; to those who know him, it would take an act of God to put him down or hold him back from being himself.
His nurse, Michelle informed us that he has already tried to wake up and has been ""Awake"" (not fully awake) enough to be able to move around a little in his bed. Oddly enough, I looked at his left eye and it was cracked so slightly and I saw his eye moving just a tiny bit. I know for a fact, my father, the most drug-resistant man I have ever known. It takes nearly the entire hospital's supplies to put him down, then he can probably still be aware of what is going on.
We are so excited that he is doing well and we cannot wait to see him wake up and start being aware of his surroundings.
All the support given, following and prayers that were said for him have helped more than anything. The surgeon, his support team (us), his nurse and the other nurses have done a wonderful job and without your support and help, we are not sure that we could have done this.
The journey has just begun, and we know there is still a long road of recovery, but so far so good and we are elated to know that everyone is impressed with the way that he is progressing.
The surgeon came down and talked to us informing us that his original valve (the bicuspid one) was FAR worse than originally thought. It's normally the size of a half dollar (maybe that's a little exaggerated), but, it was about the size of a ballpoint pin. That means he was maybe getting 20% of the blood he was supposed to be getting through that valve. He also said it was extremely thick with calcification and that the surgeon was surprised he could even walk and function with the amount of blood passing through. His heart is a little thick with the amount of strain that was put on it, but the doctor said it will go back to normal within a few weeks and his new valve is easily 4 times larger opening than the one he removed.
The surgeon said it will be about an hour or so until we get to go visit him. When we go to see him, he will be fully sedated still on the ventilator breathing for him. We will get to see the first glimpse of post-op Aubrey Jones with his NEW and IMPROVED valve that should make his life MUCH much better! We are so relieved that this guy has done so well, but we mostly knew going in that he will easily pull through and be a strong one.
We will have more information coming about his progress as time progresses, and the current time is 1:53 PM (EST) and the surgery started at around 8:30 AM. So all is well so far, and the surgeon informed us he needed NO blood transfusion and how well he did.
Thank you all so much for keeping updated with us, and as soon as we see him in his room, we will update how he is looking with everything hooked up.
Then, when everything is removed; we will update again!
Thanks for sticking with us, we appreciate all the support and prayer that we have received and have the highest hopes for a speedy, full and amazing recovery process.
The Chaplin came out around noon o'clock, and she asked to sit down... Everyone was intently scooting to the end of their seat to hear the news. She said "Results are normal, he is off the heart-lung machine in record time, just short of two hours and all is going well. They successfully restarted his heart and things seem to be progressing as they should.
The doctor will be coming out soon and inform us of the more technical details. They are sewing him up, sealing his heart op-site and putting the wire in his sternum as I type this, not in that order!
So, low and behold, so far our prayers have been answered and everyone that has been holding out and supporting him has done their duty, now the real fun begins. We have a long way to go for the recovery, and a long way to get things back to business-as-usual but to everyone who is following, just joining us or casually sweeping by. THANK YOU for your support. To those who wish to contact him, in the following days he will be allowed to respond. Until then, his brother John and myself, Zachary (his son) will be posting these updates on his behalf.
God has truly listened to the prayers today, and we are thankful things are going so well.
I promised I wouldn't make pig-valve jokes, but hey... Next time he eats bacon, it'll be a little part of himself ;)
Posting on behalf of my Dad (I am his son); Right now, my Dad, Aubrey Jones has just been moved on to the heart-lung machine and they are starting the procedure. This morning, it was hectic getting all of us out of the house. He seemed to remain calm even though in just a few short minutes he would soon be getting his operation. We greeted the ER nurse and the Chaplin who will be relaying information to us during his procedure. A prayer was said before the surgery and my Dad's hopes are high for success, we were just told literally 15 minutes ago that he is in the midst of the procedure and life support activated.
Although we as a family are concerned and worried about him, he is in good hands. His surgeon is the Chief of Surgery for the hospital, we are at an amazing heart center and we have God on our side. We are positive that the surgery will be a success and that all will go well and that things will be smooth through the entire procedure and post-op. We will keep you updated as time progresses, thank you all for helping my Dad and making this easy on him, on behalf of my Dad, myself (his son) and the rest of our family who has come into town just to be here for him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and we will let you know as time goes on.
Well tomorrow is the day and I can't wait. I expect to feel a little rough for about two weeks and then bad into the race to get back to normal and the great family, friends, neighbors and fellow working friends. After that I expect to I have twice as much energy as I have had in the last 5 years.
Thank you to everyone that has touched me and is holding me up right now. God has a special place for you.
Talk to you in a few days and we can swap stories. Zach and John will update this a few times tomorrow for me.
Well we are approaching the date to get this thing fixed. Interesting how the emotions go from uncertainty of what to do, to confusion with too much info to sort through and then to a couple of real likely probabilities and then to here we are with a solution and surgeon that the family and I are satisfied with.
Interesting discussion a couple days ago with the surgeon about the exact nature of how and why he wanted to install the valve a certain way. His answer made a lot of sense in that he was getting a better result with the full root replacement that reduced reops and issues cropping up sooner than they should. We talked for a minute about the technical details and then it was obvious his experience was showing through and the confidence he was right just reinforces the decisions we have made to date. I would like to commend all the doctors I have spoken with and that have helped us get to the solution that fits me and us as a family. The two that carried most of the burden have been my cardiologist Dr. Harlamert and soon to be surgeon (1 day away) Dr. Heimansohn. I can truly recommend both IU Health in Indianapolis and St. Vincent in Carmel IN. We also had support from some of the doctors from Cleveland Clinic and St. Francis in Indianapolis too. And the people on this site that helped with information about their decisions and journeys really had more impact than you would know. It is really appreciated and it made a difference.
One thing that is very interesting is that there is work going on in trying to grow valves from our own tissue. I am counting on the technology advancing over the 15 to 20+ years before I need this one replaced and it possibly being what is truly a permanent solution by then. Amazing things are being worked on and some of that work is happening right here in Indianapolis between the three major heart centers, all of which are excellent.
The support team is starting to arrive, brother and sister are here now with wife and son. A family friend is coming in tomorrow. We will be well staffed and did I mention my sister is a nurse for a cardiology practice.
Went for heart cath yesterday and it came out fine. The cardiologist said I have the heart of a 13 year old, other than the aortic stenosis.
Interestingly enough, I had a hard time with severe nausea and coming out of the anesthesia. Was sick for the better part of three hours. Apparently there is some nerve in the groin area that can cause a Vagal response where your blood pressure drops (mine was 90 over 48) and I got sick while I was mostly out of it.
This is not so bad for me since when I am in shape i normally run 105 over about 60 anyway. Just gotta loose a few more pounds. Already down 16+ with weight watchers.
Feel good today but can not lift anything over 5 pounds for 3 days while the cath site heals. Still can not do much and severely limited in my actions from the doctors until I get the new valve next week.
Thank goodness for the strong support team coming, wife and son are here, neighbors watching out for us as well. Brother and sister coming from out of town as well as a family friend. Wife's hardest job will be the worry as well as managing the team. Sister is a cardiac nurse so likely she will want to stay the first night with me, have to see how it schedules out.
Going to have to see who breaks into the Xanax first.
Also got a boost in confidence yesterday, some of the staff were talking about how many people travel from all over to use the surgeon I have. I pays to have a connected and knowledgeable cardiologist and to do your homework to make sure you are comfortable with a plan for how to survive and have a good productive life for the next 30-50 years.
We have met with a few surgeons, either in person or by phone and God must be watching out for me. I have seen some of the top surgeons in their field in my area. Looks like I will opt for a tissue valve that is averaging 15 to 17 years and the surgeon we talked to has used it for 17 years with excellent results. He is also chief of surgery for one of the heart hospitals here that many people will travel long distances to have him do their procedure.
Also, Friday I worked half a day and continued to feel worse as the day went. Have had to quit driving due to a couple of attacks of severe dizziness, nausea and arm pain from being startled. Thank goodness for wife and son to shuttle me until, we get through this. Ended up at the heart emergency room and the cardiologist told me to slow down and gave me some Xanax to help slow me down. Only can work at home until the surgery and the Xanax does not seem to do much, so they are doubling it. We will see.
Doctor has a heart cath set up for Wed to check my arteries and insure there is nothing else going on. I am confident this will be ok since the one in 2009 was clear. Will let you now tomorrow how it went.
Good luck to everyone that is here and going through their own journey and God bless.
When you talk to surgeons you find out very quickly they normally find a solution that works with them and they tend to stick with it. Each one has their own preference from bovine valves to pig valves to Ross procedure to mechanical valves.
Remember I am an engineer and am doing the normal research I would do on any project or investment I would do in my business. The information very much reflects what we read in Adam's book as well but I will understand more of the physics and details that most people will not ask nor be interested in. Being very technical, I was very nervous I could make a bad decision. Now that I understand more, I am much more comfortable and really feel there is almost no bad decision. A few more questions to final decision.
I think the most important thing is to have a trusting relationship with your cardiologist and find a surgeon that you both believe in. All the conversations have sort of ended with what you are comfortable with, if you are trying to avoid a 2nd surgery, etc. One interesting question is the longevity of the procedure and ask about it at 1, 5, 10 and 20 plus years to help you see what fits for you.
The choices are very interesting in this instance. I am 57 years old and in very good health otherwise. No caffeine, light social drinking and a little overweight. Extremely active in a full time corporate position with a lot of domestic and global travel.
With this background, my cardiologist laid out the landscape from the Ross procedure, tissue valves or mechanical valves. All have advantages and the technology has moved along over the last few years and we expect it will continue to move in the next 5-10 years. I am looking for the best solution with the least risk for a 2nd (reop) because I am looking for the next 50 years and what is the most sure path with the least risk.
We have met with a number of surgeons and have their perspective and while there is not a bad decision in the bunch, we lean away from the mechanical valve due to long term implications of blood thinners. Still some thinking to do. We are so very fortunate to be in the Indianapolis area. There are some incredible medical facilities that are true heart hospitals that specialize in open heart procedures and true aortic surgical experts. I truly believe God led us here for this very reason.
After working with my cardiologist, Dr. Harlamert, we are at the point that it has become critical and I have started to be symptomatic. Shortness of breath when doing anything strenuous or even climbing steps at home.
And for goodness sakes, please don't put me in Mexico in the higher elevation, it gets significantly worse. Just walking through the hotel was a chore.
He says that the velocity through the valve is supposed to 1 and mine is 4 and the open area of the valve is down to 0.69 cm sq when a healthy one is 2.5 cm sq.
Time to discuss this with my wife and determine what type of procedure and valve and what surgeon does this. My cardiologist was very supportive of this process and we had a lot of questions. Did I mention I am an engineer, according to the surgeons, the worst kind for detailed questions.. More info in the next update.