Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Derek Owens - Hope for Teens with Bicuspid Aortic Valves

Derek Owens loves basketball! Confronted with the need for surgery while still in high school, his dream was to play again - something that he had been told might not be possible.

In this video you will see Derek living his dream - back out on the court again. Thank you, Derek, for sharing your story and giving hope to us all.

1 comment:

  1. Laura Bales Owens about 2 hours ago

    My son is one of those athletes that might have died on the court if it weren't for screening. While we were aware of his bi-cuspid valve, what we weren't aware of was the link to possibly getting an aortic aneurysm. It was only due to his annual screening for his valve that the aneurysm was discovered. Had it not been discovered, and subsequently repaired, and his valve replaced, (by Dr. Raissi who literally saved his life and to whom we are eternally grateful!!!!) he would have most certainly died before reaching his 17th birthday. We were fortunate to have learned about his defective valve at birth and therefore had it monitored annually. However, because defective valves often go undiagnosed until later in life, his life threatening aneurysm would not have been found and he would be another unfortunate statistic. Thankfully, instead, he is a healthy 20 year old college basketball player who is an amazing young man. His video story is on the foundation's web site. I know of another high school athlete who was not so fortunate. He died instantly on his high school's track at 16. At least one screening at some point, as part of a required sports physical would have made the difference for him.

    Anyone who has a bicuspid valve, or has had surgery to replace an aortic valve, needs to be aware of the link to aneurysms and make sure they are being periodically checked! And if you suddenly experience chest pain, make sure they check for a dissection of the aorta in the emergency room and not just clear you of a heart attack! Sadly, they have sent people home with dissections, telling them their heart is fine, only to have them die later. Be informed, be proactive! Blessings.