Patient Stories: Marilyn
Marilyn, Age 59
Independent Business Owner
On-X Aortic Valve Recipient
“I have a valve that will last my lifetime.”
Diagnosed at age 47, both her cardiologist and surgeon recommended the On-X Aortic Heart Valve.
Marilyn was first diagnosed with a heart murmur at age 47, caused by a bicuspid valve in her heart (her aortic valve had only two working leaflets instead of three). She also had a family history of heart valve problems; her father had a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic valve surgery.
After years of closely monitoring her condition, Marilyn had valve replacement surgery at age 53. She chose an On-X aortic heart valve, which had been recommended by both her cardiologist and surgeon, rather than a replacement heart valve made of animal tissue, because she wanted to avoid the possibility of subsequent replacement surgeries.
A quick recovery and a new baby granddaughter for the Independent Business woman.
Marilyn was in good physical shape and recovered quickly from surgery, getting discharged from the hospital just four days after her procedure – just in time to see her new baby granddaughter being born.
“I have a terrific quality of life today,” she says. “After surgery, I had no pain or issues, and my shortness of breath went away.”
Consulting with doctors to lower her blood-thinner dosage.
Like all mechanical heart valve patients, Marilyn takes daily blood-thinning medication and goes to her cardiologist office once a month to monitor her INR blood levels. After learning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved lowering the blood-thinner dosages for patients with On-X aortic heart valves, she went straight to her cardiologist’s office to discuss possible changes in her medication levels. Her cardiologist made the change immediately and Marilyn was able to reduce her blood thinning levels.
Marilyn and the On-X Aortic Valve: A Winning Combination
Today as a mother of six, grandmother of twelve, and great-grandmother of one, Marilyn remains very physically active. While she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, sewing, she also helps her husband with his electrical company, regularly mows her family’s 5-acre lot and trims the trees on the property.
Marilyn is accustomed to winning choices. Right before her heart valve replacement, Marilyn hit the jackpot at a casino in Oklahoma. She quickly racked up seven wins, rewarding herself and her recovery from open-heart surgery by buying a Smart Car, which she paid for with her accumulated winnings.
Reduce INR after 3 months of standard therapy.
NOTE: This story reflects one person’s experience. Talk to your doctor about your situation and possible treatment options.