Whitney, Age 33
Active Mom of 2
On-X Aortic Valve Recipient
“I had to keep myself calm because I knew, with every heartbeat, that my insides were tearing open. I knew I was in God’s hands… I’m grateful that my surgeon, Dr. Mark Pool, selected the On-X valve for my emergency heart valve replacement surgery”
Diagnosed as a teenager
Just hours after Whitney delivered her second child, a premature daughter named Willow, she felt a sharp, unfamiliar pain in her chest. A CT scan confirmed that she had ruptured her aorta – the largest artery in the human body. The young mother suddenly found herself fighting for her life as she was airlifted from the local community hospital where she had given birth, to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Dr. Mark Pool, cardiothoracic surgeon at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, performed emergency heart surgery on Whitney, repairing her dissected aorta and removing her destroyed aortic valve, which he replaced with an On-X aortic mechanical valve with an ascending aortic prosthesis.
Because her surgery was an emergency and completely unexpected, Whitney had no chance to research heart valve replacement options before her procedure. During her recovery, however, she took the time to learn about aortic repair surgery and her On-X valve, which is made of a special pyrolytic carbon and was designed to mimic the performance of the body’s native valve. Whitney’s On-X mechanical valve is expected to last the rest of her lifetime, unlike replacement valves made of animal tissue. Animal tissue valves have been documented to fail over time, especially in younger patients like Whitney, requiring them to undergo additional reoperations in the future.
Whitney is grateful to Dr. Pool for her life-saving surgery and his selection of the On-X Valve. His On-X choice allows Whitney to lower her INR levels and she doesn’t worry about additional heart surgery.
Recently, Whitney learned about the U.S. FDA’s ruling allowing patients with On-X aortic mechanical valves to lower their warfarin medication dosage to “near normal” levels and promptly visited her cardiologist to lower her INR dosage. Today, Whitney’s a busy working mom and a busy parent of two healthy and active children. She’s fully recovered from her life-saving surgery and takes her prescribed blood-thinning medication daily, monitoring her INR at home not needing to go to a clinic or hospital.
This happy and healthy mom is grateful to be alive, and is doing great. Willow is now 3 years old, and her big brother Carson was so inspired by how Dr. Pool saved his mom’s life that he now plans to become a doctor when he grows up.
NOTE: This story reflects one person’s experience. Talk to your doctor about your situation and possible treatment options.