Dr. Raczkowski shares memories of his favorite patient success story.
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Dr Raczkowski's Favorite Patient Success Story One of our earliest valve patients was a police officer who had very severe mitral regurgitation and could not do his job. He was limited. He had a young family, young children, couldn’t play with them. He was starting to have problems doing just the routine activities of life. Couldn’t participate in playing with their children outside. We went ahead and did a valve replacement because he had a severely affected valve from rheumatic heart disease. The patient stayed less than three days in the hospital; was back at work within ten days. I knew we had done the correct procedure when he walked into my office one week, one week after the procedure swinging his young daughter back and forth and that’s something you’d never see in someone with a standard operation, plus the fact that he had already recovered from the ill effects of heart failure. He is now able to perform his job the way he could and he will tell you how normal he feels; how he can contribute to his family and participate in all the things and all the richness of life. I think that’s probably the most inspiring because it’s so dramatic; he was so young and he has his whole life to benefit. It makes the sacrifice of the work we do worth it. It’s as simple as that. I think everyone wants to do a good job. Everyone wants to feel valued because of the job they do. Heart surgery obviously is a very specialized area. We work with a very small group of people who have very serious problems. The rewards of that to us are seeing people get back to their normal life, knowing what we do has contributed to their benefit and to their life experience. There aren’t a lot of jobs where you can actually see someone improve that much, and I think every day the ability to do that is inspiring.