Many of us would consider open-heart surgery a once-in-a-lifetime event, but at 50, Marv Johnson had already undergone 2 open-heart surgeries. And, in early 2019, he was facing the prospect of a third.
Johnson was born with a malformed aortic valve. Instead of 3 flaps that join together to close and keep blood from flowing in the wrong direction, Johnson had only 2. His Kaiser Permanente doctors had been keeping an eye on it since he was born.
Open-heart surgery – twice
When Johnson was 30, doctors discovered his aortic valve was failing and needed to be replaced. His only option: full open-heart surgery. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and several months regaining his strength.
Doctors told Johnson the replacement valve would last 10 to 15 years at most. So, it wasn’t a surprise when, 8 years later, Johnson again needed open-heart surgery to replace it. This time