|Beauty of the southern California coast,|
in the general area of these heart sounds
We have never met you, but you have a very special place in my husband's heart story. This is written to thank you and to pay tribute to your dedication to understanding and accurately describing the human heart.
At some very critical moments in my husband's life, your accurate assessment of his heart was vital to keeping him alive.
As I write, I am looking at our copy of an echocardiogram report. In a few months, it will be 25 years old. It was my husband's first echocardiogram. The diagnosis listed is pneumonia. My husband was in the hosptial at that time. This report is the first time anyone ever described the reason for my husband's heart murmur - aortic stenosis. No doubt you knew, looking at the images of his heart, how sick he was. Aortic valve replacement surgery saved his life. He did well after surgery, and his left ventricle fully recovered normal function!
The next critical moment in his life was about 11 years later. This time, as you looked at the images, you noted an ascending aortic aneurysm above my husband's prosthetic aortic valve. It was 5.2 cm. He had a CT locally and later an MRI elsewhere. All confirmed your finding and measurement. He had surgery to remove it. A Dacron graft took its place, and continues to serve him well.
Thank you so much for seeing that dangerous bulge. He had no symptoms whatsoever. I fear it would have continued to grow silently until one day it ended in tragedy. I cannot imagine life without him.
We continue to have his echoes done there at the hospital. We have come to know DeAnne Paul well and request that she perform the test each time. She has told us about working closely with you, and how you mentored her over the years. She has done echoes on a number of our family members now. There is no doubt we continue to benefit today, along with all the others who come to DeAnne needing answers about their hearts.
DeAnne has spoken at Bicuspid Aortic Foundation conferences, and those videos are available to the world. All the wisdom you invested in DeAnne continues today. I am sure she shares her knowledge with the students who are so fortunate to undergo training there. The lifesaving gifts of skilled, dedicated medical professionals go on and on, beyond measure.
As I write, I find there are no words to express our gratitude to you. We just want you to know that you are and will always remain entwined in the heart sounds of our lives.
The Velebir Family