Topic: Learning from Others

Hearing their stories and interacting with others going through similar experiences is an incredible learning tool and a great way to find support.

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    • Arnald D. Gabriel's story
      World War II veteran Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, 91, had somewhere very important to be on December 7, 2016. A combat machine gunner with the United States Army’s famed 29th Infantry Division and Conductor Emeritus of the U.S. Air Force Band Symphony Orchestra, Col. Gabriel was due in Hawaii to conduct three separate musical events for the 75th anniversary ceremony commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor. Col. Gabriel’s military career spanned 36 years, including his part in the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach and Commander/Conductor of the Air Force Orchestra. He is known worldwide for his innovative musical leadership and genius. A…
    • National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day Celebrated at Inova Heart and Vascular Center
      On February 22, the National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign celebrated a flagship event hosted by Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. The event brought together patients, loved ones, medical professionals, government leaders and patient advocacy representatives to celebrate heart valve disease awareness. The gathering highlighted the outstanding work of the Inova Heart and Vascular team as well as the patient’s who received innovative repair and replacement procedures as well as the importance of Valve Disease Day. Inova Heart and Vascular Institute’s state-of-the-art flagship location on Inova Fairfax Medical Campus is one of the most complete, technologically-advanced medical and research centers…
    • Celebrate National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on February 22nd
      The second annual National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is less than one month away! This campaign was created to raise awareness about the risk of heart valve disease, encourage patients to get their heart checked regularly, and educate the public about the innovative treatment options that are available. As many as 5 million Americans have heart valve disease (HVD) which involves damage to one or more of the heart’s valves. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications—including death. HVD can be there at birth, or develop from damage later in life from calcification, other cardiovascular diseases…
    • Heart Valve Voice Shares Patient Experiences After Surgery
      Heart Valve Voice has created a Patient Updates page dedicated to sharing the inspiring stories of heart valve disease patients and life after their surgeries. Each featured story shares exciting milestones, whether it be traveling to a different country or helping a loved one move into a new home.
    • Edwards Lifesciences Hosts "Patient Day 2017"
      Recently, Edwards Lifesciences, a primary heart valve manufacturer, invited more than 60 patients and their caregivers in the heart valve community to Irvine, California, to celebrate Patient Day 2017. This event allowed patients and caregivers across the nation to share their stories with each other and prompt positive action within the heart valve disease community. Watch the Patient Day 2017 recap video, provided by, to see the exciting events the day entailed!  
    • Personal Stories from American Heart Association's Heart Valve Ambassadors
      Learn more about the stories of American Heart Association’s group of heart valve disease ambassadors including, seven heart valve disease survivors and one caregiver who represent the wide variety of people who are affected by heart valve disease. Read about each ambassador’s unique story here.
    • Patient experiences with mechanical heart valve replacements
      Four St. Jude Medical patients share their unique experiences with mechanical heart valve replacement.
    • Jamie Rogers's story: “Just be aware that you’ll go through ups and downs, but it will get better. It’s going to be ok.“
      Growing up, Jamie Rogers played just about every sport there was to play, with no awareness of anything wrong with his heart. Four years ago, the 39 year-old Columbia native decided to start running to lose weight and get back in shape. Around the same time, after being a pastor in South Carolina for 13 years, Jamie and his wife felt that God was leading them beyond their home turf, and they moved to Long Island, New York to help lead a church in the town of Farmingdale. One beautiful late August morning, Jamie decided to take advantage of the great…
    • Elaine and Blake Webster's story
      Heart valve surgery is not a journey that a patient takes alone. It requires a strategic team of doctors and dedicated caregivers to help the patient feel most comfortable and supported while overcoming new and unique challenges. Elaine Webster has personally grown to be the ideal caregiver, friend, patient advocate, nurse, and confidant throughout her husband, Blake’s journey through his first major arrhythmia, to mitral-valve surgery, and finally onto recovery. Through her first-hand experience as a caregiver for sixteen years, Elaine has provided valuable insight and advice in her book, Heartfelt. Learn more and access Elaine’s book, Heartfelt here.    
    • Dennis and Ann Dobkowski's story: “People often have symptoms like I had and think it is connected to ‘old age.’  But they can be the warning signs for heart valve disease“
      Dennis Dobkowski’s heart valve problem didn’t seem so bad at first. It had actually begun with the detection of a heart murmur during a routine doctor’s visit 15 years ago. At the time it wasn’t life-threatening, but rather just something to keep track of. But in one brief doctor’s visit in 2014, everything changed for the then 67-year-old from Southern California. “I started feeling totally exhausted all of the time and couldn’t focus on work. When I went in for a checkup, my doctor told me I had a leaking heart valve,” recalls Dennis. He and his wife, Ann, a registered nurse,…
    • Susan Strong's story: “I was one of the 60% who was diagnosed from just going to the doctor’s office for something else and I didn’t recognize the symptoms that I had, I didn’t…
      Susan is a sixth grade teacher and a heart valve disease survivor. Susan has decided to share her story to help others who are at risk for valve disease or are seeking treatment. She is a proud participant of the American Heart Association’s Heart Valve Ambassador team. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1983. I was 17 years old and I was treated with radiation and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the radiation that saved my life, created a difficulty and complication 20/30 years later and I was diagnosed with Severe Aortic Stenosis. I was very fortunate to be able to have…
    • Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement
      St. Jude Medical patient, Dawn, shares her experience with mechanical heart valve replacement.
    • Sophie Marsh shares her story on
      Sophie Marsh, a patient who needed mitral valve and tricuspid valve surgery, shared her story with Adam Pick of  Watch her story of success.
    • James' Story: Tissue Valve Recipient
      In 2006, when he was 63 years old, James came to the realization that the only way to successfully repair his damaged heart valve was with surgery. No amount of medical intervention or lifestyle changes would give him the results he needed to live a full life. Read about his experience with tissue heart valve replacement surgery.
    • Dr. Robert Bonow on Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
      Robert Bonow, MD, describes the symptoms that may alert a person to heart valve disease symptoms. It’s important to know that some patients with heart valve disease do not have symptoms, but still have a serious condition. Visit the American Heart Association at for more information about valve problems.
    • Chicago Bulls Coach Fred Hoiberg - Patient Success Story from
      The coach of the Chicago Bulls–Fred Hoiberg–shares his success story of two heart surgeries for an aortic aneurysm and bicuspid aortic valve, with