Happy and Healthy: Life After Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

February 28, 2019

Marilyn O'Gorman

Watch what happens when a family’s matriarch finds out she has to have heart valve replacement surgery. Thanks to supportive cardiac care, she is now back to health and enjoying her extended family with a healthy heart. 

Marilyn O’Gorman has a full heart full of love: Just ask her six children, 15 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

However, in 2009, tests showed that same heart had medical issues. So her close family was by her side when she underwent heart valve replacement surgery. O’Gorman says her heart doctor, Athan Roumanas, MD, FACS, put her at ease about the surgery.

“You’re very nervous — you’re scared,” says O’Gorman. “You don’t know: Are you going to come out of it? Is it going to work?” 

Heart Valve Replacement Surgery Comes with an Unexpected Question

O’Gorman was asked to choose whether she’d prefer a pig or a cow valve — ultimately inquiring of Dr. Roumanas which one he’d choose for his own mother. 

“And he said, ‘Well, probably pig,'” she recalls. “And I said, ‘OK, I’ll oink for you.’ And that’s how I got that, and he did a wonderful job.” 

O’Gorman continues her care at the Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, so she can stay heart healthy and spend her free time with the many generations of family in her life.