Edwards Lifesciences hosted 100 heart valve patients and caregivers at its corporate headquarters to connect patients with each other and to share more about the people behind their heart valve technologies and the support services and networks dedicated to the heart community.
I was honored to attend Patient Day 2015, and the experience was one of the most meaningful of many in the year following my aortic valve replacement via TAVR in November 2014. Because heart valves are registered medical devices with serial numbers, I had the privilege to meet the two women who meticulously placed approximately 2000 stitches by hand into my Edwards Sapien XT bovine tissue aortic valve.
Surprised to learn that my valve had been hand-sewn, I welled up with emotion and gratitude to meet and personally thank the person who had done this for me. As I was hugging her tightly, she whispered in my ear, "I can feel your heart!" My response is captured on the Patient Day video posted here. My story begins at 2:36 sec into the video.