Reconnecting with VR.com friends

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Premium Level User
VR.org Supporter
Mar 17, 2005
New Haven, Connecticut
After 4 months of anticipation and fear and with a lot of support from many of you, my surgery on May 2 did finally happen (as my wife, Nancy reported at the time). AVR with a CEPM bovine pericardial, graft of a few inches of my dilated ascending aorta. And everything went extremely well. Walking in the ICU the day after the surgery. Home in 5 days. Rapid recovery with no complications. Gradual increase in activity level. Now playing squash again with my trash-talking pals, who show no mercy on the court. But showing off my chest scar in the locker room reveals their squeamish, wimpy nature and gives me a little edge!

So where have I been since May 2? I guess I've been hibernating. Thinking. Reading. Taking long walks and feeling amazed at the simple beauty of our neighborhood and the sweetness of family and friends. Being prodded by Nancy to avoid my old work-a-holic ways, take breaks, smell the flowers, learn to appreciate life's little pleasures. I am not particularly religious, but it does feel like being born again. One of my squash buddies called it extra innings.

Anyway, I want to tell everyone again how grateful I am for the support I received from VR.com during that crazy time before surgery. And I want to tell everyone of my current good health, my incredible surgeon, Dr. John Elefteriades, my amazing wife, Nancy, my kids, my grandson. In short, I am truly blessed. Recovery is well under way, and I hereby give all of you a big thank you hug.


Debrinha GT

Beloved Member
Feb 19, 2004
Nice to hear from you!

Nice to hear from you!

Hi Richard, thanks for the great news! We always worry when one of our members simply disappear! Take care.
Débora :)


Glad to hear all is well, Richard. Life is good- continue to enjoy!


Well-known member
Jun 10, 2001
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
Hey Richard, nice to see you and thanks for reporting in. It is an awesome journey we have taken as we go over the moujntain. From time to time we discuss our 'afterward' feelings and the way we look at life on this side. I believe the concensus is that we appreciate everything more and find our feelings on the softer more gentle side. Nice, isn't it. Keep on enjoying. Blessins.....

Der Biermeister

Hi Richard - I new here since your absence. I certainly am envious of your good fortune with surgery and recuperation. I am kind of stuck in limbo right now, doing the low salt/low fat diet thing and sucking down mucho increased bp and diuretic meds to try to alleviate my AI symptoms. To be honest, I feel like crap. Can't sleep very well and can't walk more than about 100 yards without wanting to keel over. I've lost 15 lbs since my "crisis" that put me in the hospital. My goal is another 50 lbs. All tests run show a pretty good heart w/o any CHF -- but it sure feels like I have it! My LVEF is robust at 65%. They are catergorizing my AI as somewhere between mild and moderate, plus I have mild PH. I suspect I will remain in limbo until November when another echocardiogram is scheduled.

At 62 -- I am wondering if I really can achieve some exercise tolerance simply by taking the meds and losing weight?
Would sure like input on this!

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