In the summer of 2015, while training to run my first marathon, and at the recommendation of a friend, Merritt asked me go and have a full physical with my doctor. During this physical, my doctor detected a heart murmur and sent me for additional tests with a cardiologist. The test determined that I have a Dilated Ascending Aorta, a Dilated Aortic Root, and a Bicuspid Aortic Valve. The Bicuspid Valve I learned is something I was born with. Bicuspid meaning, I only have 2 leaflets instead of three. As a result of having a bicuspid valve, I have had a regurgitation in my heart the last 51.5 years. The leaky valve has led to an aortic aneurysm. The dilation has been monitored and measured over the last couple of years through annual check ups, echocardiograms and MRA's of my heart. At the last echocardiogram, the aneurysm reached what my cardiologist diagnosed as critical. Without going through all the test I've endured the last couple of months, because I have both an aneurysm, and the bicuspid valve, it has been recommended that I have surgical repair of both my aortic root and aortic valve.
Dr. Frederick, with Sanger Cardiovascular Surgery will perform open heart surgery to repair/replace my aorta, and repair/replace my aortic valve on September 13, 2018. I will be at Carolina's Medical Center, CMC-Main in Charlotte, NC. The surgery will take approximately 6 hours. Post surgery I will go to ICU for monitoring because I will be placed on a ventilator, and a heart by-pass/lung machine during the surgery. My surgeon says I will be in ICU for 1-2 days, and in the hospital for about a week. I should be fully recovered in 6 to 8 weeks. Dr. Frederick has suggested that following recovery, I'll be ready to complete that marathon if I so chose. When I told him how I ended up at his office as a result of my desire to complete a marathon he said, "you don't look like a runner". He's already added fuel to my fire to just show him!
I am entrusting my surgeon and his team in their knowledge and skill to medically repair my heart. I am relying on my FAITH in GOD, knowing he will be with the surgeon and his team, and with ME, my FAMILY, and FRIENDS as I/WE go through the surgery and the recovery period. I know GOD will see me through this and that:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Merritt, Rebecca Anne, Andrew and I ask that you please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
We will use this site as a way to communicate with friends and family as we begin this journey to my having a strong and healthy heart.