Heart-strings Repaired

February 12, 2015

The heart surgery is over, a success by all accounts. When Dr. Miller met with us after the surgery he said today was ‘FUN’. Everything went well and I am glad the surgery was fun for someone! Dr. Miller did some fancy reconstruction on one of the flaps of the mitral valve instead of using a replacement valve. He did the surgery through a small incision on Cliff’s right side and that cuts his recovery time in half. Yes, it was a good day!

Cliff was resting well in ICU this evening and he will probably be moved to a regular room tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers, support and love!   Cyndy


February 8, 2015

Back home in Colorado, a good feeling. We may travel far and wide but Colorado will always be home. We’ve experienced typical Colorado crazy weather with a mini snowstorm right in the middle of a week of 70 degree days.

We met with Cliff’s heart surgeon last week and he answered all of our questions, putting both of us at ease. Dr. Miller has a stellar reputation (top 3% in the nation) for small incision heart surgery and our prayers had been for Cliff to have this type of surgery to repair his mitral valve. Surgery will start about 8am on Thursday February 12 ¬†and last 5-6 hours. Our expectation is that the surgery will go well and Cliff will have more energy than he knows what to do with after the surgery. As always, we would appreciate your prayers!

The small incision surgery will be just as painful as the kind of heart surgery where the breast bone is cut and spread open. However, the small incision recovery speeds up after that first week and many patients are driving and back to their old life in 2-3 weeks. We have not altered our plans for volunteering at the Oregon fish hatchery in April/May and then on to Fairbanks for June-September.

Yes, we do have heart-strings! Dr. Miller explained that the mitral valve in Cliff’s heart has not been completely closing, allowing blood to head back into his heart instead of out to his body. The 2 halves or flaps of the valve are operated by heart-strings and sometimes the strings get stretched out of shape or detach and the valve stops working. I suppose you would conclude that your heart-strings can be repaired if they are damaged. I remember hearing the phrase “tugging at my heart-strings” and now I know where that came from.

Here is a picture of us leaving Arizona and a picture of Zoe traveling in the truck – she slept most of the 14 hours and we were all happy for that.




Zoe’s quilting lessons – well, you decide. If you are not looking at the teacher in class, do you fail the class?


Cliff and Cyndy