Patient Stories: Fred
“Since getting my On-X valve, I feel as good as I did when I was playing in the NBA.”
From NBA Player to Patient
Fred Hoiberg played in the NBA for 10 years with the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Timberwolves, until 2005 when irregular cardiac readings from a routine physical benched him… and then changed his life forever.
Fred underwent open heart surgery to address a life-threatening aortic aneurysm. Although he loved playing basketball, he retired from the NBA to focus on his health and recovery.
On-X Valve: A Slam Dunk
A decade later, as the successful head coach of the Iowa State University basketball team, Fred found himself needing another surgery to replace his failing congenital bicuspid aortic valve.
Because of his prior experience with open-heart surgery, Fred sought a single, life-long solution to his aortic valve problem. “I let my surgeon know I did not want a tissue valve that would wear out and fail after 8-10 years,” Fred said. “I was 42 years old at that time, and I did not want any additional reoperations for the rest of my life. Each surgery becomes more difficult; my second valve surgery lasted over 3 hours due to the scar tissue from the first surgery –which happens to many patients. It just becomes tougher each time. I was grateful when my cardiothoracic surgeon recommended the On-X Aortic Heart Valve as the best solution.”
Fred had his aortic valve replacement surgery in April 2015, and swiftly recovered. In June 2015, he was named the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls.
Taking Coumadin has had no effect on my active lifestyle
“I’ve heard that some people have concerns about taking bloodthinning medication after getting a mechanical valve, but it hasn’t been an issue for me. I’m very physically active, yet I haven’t had to make any major changes in either my activities or my diet because I’m taking blood-thinners,” Fred said.
Lower medication levels with the On-X Aortic Valve
Just three months following his heart valve replacement, Fred worked with his cardiologists to lower his blood-thinning medication to “near normal” levels. This reduction in warfarin is only possible for patients with the On-X Aortic Valve thanks to the recent FDA approval. The FDA approval was based on a ten-year clinical trial which verified that On-X Aortic Valve patients could safely lower their Coumadin dosage without increasing the risk of complications.
The On-X Aortic Valve Winning Combination:
Lower Medication and No Worries about Valve Failure
“My whole basketball career has been focused on performance excellence, and the On-X valve is an excellent valve. Not having to worry about another reoperation AND lowering my Coumadin medication has been a winning combination for patients like me. I feel great. I have more energy. I’m thankful my surgeon selected the On-X valve.”
Passing to Others
In addition to his busy life as a husband, father of 4, and head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Fred dedicates time to helping other heart valve patients learn about their condition and treatment options.
NOTE: This story reflects one person’s experience. Talk to your doctor about your situation and possible treatment options.