Editor's Note: Mike from the Minneapolis area sent us this message on the day after Thanksgiving, as he wanted to share his gratitude for the care he received at Mayo Clinic earlier this year. His story is below; here are options for how you can share your story.
Hello my name is Mike, and in March of 2009 I had a mechanical aortic valve (and some other stuff, ha!) installed by Dr. Hartzell Schaff.
I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and I always knew it would need to be replaced at some point. Age 45 became my some point and thus the reason for the surgery. I am very fortunate to live in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area because there are significant options for quality health care in the area. Faced with the fact that I needed to have my valve replaced sooner rather than later I started to research my options regarding the location and surgeon. I found many that I’m sure I would have had a good experience with but when it came down to it, it seemed to me I should visit the Mayo Clinic because I heard they are the best and my research proved that out.
So I scheduled a clinic day for March 17th with the help of Donna Stucky who was wonderful to work with. My day of testing couldn’t have gone smoother, everyone was so professional, competent and complete in their area. My wife came with me and by the end of the day we were both in agreement, this was the place for us! The uneasy feeling of the unknown wasn’t gone but it had diminished greatly. I also happened to meet a couple of Dr. Schaff’s patients during the day and they explained he is the absolute best surgeon – one of the best in the world. By the end of the day I was set for surgery with Dr. Schaff and his team one week later and I was looking forward to getting on the road to recovery.
I didn’t know what to expect going to the hospital that morning in March, as I’ve not spent a lot of time in hospitals and haven’t had any significant surgeries prior to this one. Thinking about it now, I’d say my experience was so positive and life changing it’s impossible to put into words, but I’ll try.