Chris has a congenital heart defect that was corrected back when he was 16 years old with a piggy valve. This was one darn good piggy that was only supposed to last 8 to 10 years. For the last 3 years Chris has been going to the University of Washington to get a special year heart check up with a doctor that mentored under the very doctor that did the 1st heart valve job.
For the last 3 years nothing was showing as wrong. However, they were only doing heart echoes and EKG to check. This year Dr. Deen decided to do a MRI on Chris’s heart and it was a good thing. While this piggy valve was a very determined piggy valve it was getting tired. It after all had been working for 32 years now. The MRI showed that Chris’s heart was enlarged and that the valve was leaking.
What this means is that Chris needs a new heart valve. We are going to go with bovine (cow) as they are supposed to last 10 to 15 years or more. What will be happening as long as Chris’s body cooperates is that they will create the valve out of a main artery from a cow’s neck. They will sew it onto a stint and with a small balloon will go up Chris’s leg to the heart. Push over that tired piggy valve, blow up the balloon and install the new valve. Viola! New and improved hearts function for Chris!
Now those of you that know and love Chris, know that he already resembles an energizer bunny on his good days, can you imagine how he is going to be with this new and improved valve that works?
This surgery is scheduled on March 22nd at the University of Washington. All goes as planned he will be home by Friday or Saturday and then back to work by the next weekend.
So for updates, please check here where I will be updating all in one place so that I can focus my attention on Chris and making sure he has what he needs.