Friday, May 28, 2010

Jay's Heart

My very first thought is that I'm lucky to be alive. After having a routine echo cardiogram on Friday, May 20, Dr. Laura Ford identified abnormalities and an aortic aneurysm. She was concerned enough to get me on the first available flight to Chicago for probable heart surgery. At that point, I wasn't terribly concerned...My buddy Kevin Cox picked me up at the O'Hare Airport and by 3 pm Wednesday I had another echo which showed the aneurysm had gotten larger. An aneurysm is like a bulging of the heart muscle. I was immediately admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

By Thursday morning, I was operated on by Dr. Patrick McCarthy. I had an infected valve and a large aortic aneurysm. They removed the infected tissue and aneurysm and replaced the aortic valve and root with human tissue, so now I'm not part-cow anymore. The surgeon is very confident that I will recover well. I am still in ICU today (Friday) and am expected to be moved to a private room at Northwestern later today, where I will be kept for at least 3 days.

I'm lying in bed now with a larger cracked open chest than the last time. From what Dr. McCarthy says, I was a ticking time bomb. He said the aneurysm was typical of someone who would blow up and experience instant death or stroke.

It was just by chance that I had that echo when I did. I want to thank Sarah Sullivan, Dr. Ford, Dr. Pat Duey, for being instrumental in getting me into see Dr. Ford when I did, and most of all my wife, Sarah, who always does the little things, that in this case, saved my life. I love her very much. (I'm dictating this while Jay is on Toradol - Sarah).

The recovery and cause for this is unclear. But my old heart has been shipped off to labs to find out why and how this happened. Thanks for all the love and wishes that have and are being sent. I have to say that my nurse last night was a young 25-year-old hottie - while being incubated and not being able to talk, I had to poke her in the butt to get her attention, I noticed her butt was a little flabby. I asked her if she exercised and she said, "no." I told her she needs to get on the stick and start exercising. But she did give me a nice sponge bath, which was a lot better than the nurse the last time I had heart surgery.

I'm going to be back. I'll fight back. Don't count me out yet. My mom and dad, my wife, and my little 4-month-old Cale flew up here to be with me. I miss Chloe very much. When I told Chloe that I had to go to Chicago to get heart surgery, she told me the problem with my heart was that it is "upside down." She's pretty smart for 4!

(His life was hanging by a thread, by all accounts. It is very lucky we were able to detect a problem when we did and get him in for care so quickly. Thank you again for all of your support!!! - Sarah).

Congratulations to Pat and Janel Duey for having a 9-lb little boy!!!


  1. Thank heavens everything has turned out well. What a miraculous series of events! I'm glad to hear from you. Us Weaver's were sure pulling for you!

  2. Jay - from one old fart to another - best of luck, get well, fight hard. Glad that you went in when you did. Just shows the value of preventitive care and being diligent about your health.

    Get back to Montana soon. Best wishes.

    Tony Banovich

  3. Thank you all for your well wishes - it means so much! - Sarah