Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.
John is scheduled for open-heart surgery on Wednesday, August 5th at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. We are grateful to have a world-class hospital in our state and know that he will be cared for by the best medical team possible!
Last fall, John had which at first seemed like his typical bout of lung issues, starting with bronchitis. But after 2 rounds of antibiotics and steroids he wasn’t getting better. After many doctor visits, he ended up in the ER on January 7th where he was quickly admitted into Waconia Hospital with pneumonia. That was the start of 7 different hospitalizations (4 admissions by ambulance) between Waconia and Abbott, with a total stay of 40 days. In March, he had his first consultation with Mayo Pulmonary and Rheumatology. Subsequent visits included multiple tests and consults with Mayo Cardiology which found that severe regurgitation of John's mitral and tricuspid heart valves (combined with organizing pneumonia of an unknown origin) were the main causes of his diminished health and stamina and the lack of meaningful improvement to his health. If his "leaky valves" were left untreated John was unlikely to gain significant improvements to his well being even when the pneumonia improved. Thankfully, John's cardiac surgeon is confident that the surgery will allow John to regain a high quality of life and enjoy the things he loves so much, namely spending time with his friends and family. We look forward to celebrating that success with all of you!
The Mayo surgeon, through open-heart surgery, will replace John's mitral valve, attempt to repair his tricuspid valve (replace if a repair is not possible) , ligate his left atrial appendage and isolate his pulmonary vein. Less invasive catheter valve repair or replacement procedures were not an option for John because of the anatomy and condition of his heart valves. The surgeon will also attempt to correct John's a-fib but since John has suffered it for more than 25 years there is only a 50/50 chance it will be eliminated. Finally, John will receive wiring for a pacemaker and while he is recovering Mayo will determine if he actually needs a pacemaker implanted. John will be hospitalized at least 3-5 days following the surgery.
After everything that he has already faced we know that his heart is strong and his determination even stronger. We are thankful for such a wide circle of family and friends. Your continued support and prayers will help more than you know!
General information about John's conditions and surgery can be found at the following links:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mitral-valve-regurgitation/symptoms-causes/syc-20350178https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tricuspid-valve-regurgitation/symptoms-causes/syc-20350168https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mitral-valve-repair-mitral-valve-replacement/about/pac-20384958https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tricuspid-valve-repair-tricuspid-valve-replacement/about/pac-20385087https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/to-have-or-not-to-haveyour-left-atrial-appendage-closed/https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/interstitial-lung-disease/expert-answers/cryptogenic-organizing-pneumonia-cop/faq-20057840#:~:text=Previously%20called%20bronchiolitis%20obliterans%20with,and%20plugged%20with%20connective%20tissue.https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pulmonary-vein-isolation/about/pac-20384996#:~:text=Pulmonary%20vein%20isolation%20is%20a,triggers%20an%20abnormal%20heart%20rhythm.
The Surgeon: https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/greason-kevin-l-m-d/bio-20055097 https://www.mayo.edu/research/faculty/greason-kevin-l-m-d/bio-00027219
The Hospital: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/mn/mayo-clinic-6610451/cardiology-and-heart-surgery
Due to COVID-19 related visitor restrictions, Mary will be the only person allowed to visit John during his stay at Mayo.