Heart Valve Surgery

Category: Heart Failure

On December 21, 2005, nearly 435 days ago, I had open-heart surgery to fix a congenital defect in the aortic valve of my heart. After thirty four years of life, my bicuspid aortic valve which suffered from stenosis and regurgitation, needed to be replaced. As many of you know, this open-heart medical operation (known as the Ross Procedure) triggered a series of challenging lows (e.g. cardiac depression) and a series of memorable highs (e.g. my engagement to Robyn).

Well. Two days ago I experienced another memorable high that I wanted to share with you – my friends, family and blog subscribers.

“What happened?!” you wonder as you see my smiling, much in need of a shave, face.

This past Saturday, I dug my dusty, nine-foot, eight-inch McTavish surfboard out of the garage. Then, I reached into the dark corner of my closet and grabbed my RipCurl wetsuit.


It was time to complete my physical recovery from open heart surgery.

It was time to surf again.

The day was a surfers dream. Sunny, with just a few swooshes of cloud in the blue skies above. I think the high in Los Angeles on Saturday was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Pacific Ocean held to its name. It was symbolically calm and glassy.

And the waves.

The waves were as playful as a six-week old puppy. Perfect for a longboarder like me.

Or, more accurately, perfect the longboarder I remembered to be (prior to my surgery).