Brent's heart journey began in 2008 when he received a call from his cousin who explained that their family had a history with a genetic heart defect. Brent went to get it checked out and found that he did indeed have the heart defect, a bicuspid aortic heart valve. Thankfully he had no symptoms and his overall health was good. The cardiologist recommended he just get checked annually.
Fast forward to 2018. After losing over 170 lbs and feeling better the he had in years, Brent returned to his general doctor for a routine follow up exam. At that visit, his doctor became very concerned about what she heard in his chest and recommended he get to the cardiologist sooner rather than later. His cardiologist agreed that something was definitely wrong and ordered a bunch of tests. These tests revealed that Brent's aortic valve had begun to calcify and he had severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aorta). The cardiologist referred Brent to a heart valve specialist and that is when Brent received the news that without heart valve replacement surgery, he would be facing a 12-24 month life expectancy. With 2 little girls at home, the news was difficult to hear and plans were made to move ahead quickly to replace Brent's aortic valve with a bovine artificial valve.
On one of the many doctor visits, Sarah reported that her dad joked with the doctor about being a cannibal if he were to eat steak after his surgery. He is in good spirits but the surgery is quite serious. In order to replace the valve, the surgeon will have to open his sternum, stop his heart, remove the calcified valve, and replace it with the biological valve as well as reconstruct the damaged aorta. The surgeon says, while it is routine for him, its a pretty big deal for the patient. Brent will be in surgery for 4-6 hours, ICU for 3-4 days, hospitalized for up to a week, and then out of work for a period of time after. The recovery is typically 6-8 weeks before a patient feels back to full strength.
Funds received will go toward the cost of surgery (scheduled for Sept 17th) and after care including missed time from work and cardiac rehabilitation. Thank you for any help in covering the cost of this life saving surgery and keeping this soccer dad on the field for years to come.
- Cassie Stump
- Mr Joe
- David Winchester