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Paul F When Valve Replacement is the Best Option - Paul's Story

“The care I received at The Beth was superb, and the nurses were amazing; no matter if it was early in the morning or in the middle of the night, they cared and were very present for me.”

The replacement of a faulty heart valve allowed Paul to return to his active lifestyle.

Paul F. was the image of perfect health. As a 32-year-old CrossFit® enthusiast, he exercised regularly and took care of his body — but one day that all changed.

Paul experienced an abnormal heartbeat, an inability to work out and suffered from some sleepless nights. A trip to the cardiologist confirmed that his mitral valve was not working properly and he would have to see a heart failure specialist.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Paul. “I was a healthy young man who worked out and had an exceptionally healthy lifestyle and diet.”

After a second opinion supported the diagnosis and his symptoms worsened, Paul visited Newark Beth Israel, where the cardiothoracic surgery team explained to him that fluid was building in his lungs and his heart was enlarging. His only option was open heart surgery to either repair or replace the valve.

The cardiothoracic surgery team at Newark Beth Israel performed valve replacement surgery and a cardiac ablation procedure to restore Paul’s regular heart rhythm. Within a week he was discharged from the hospital.

“The care I received at The Beth was superb, and the nurses were amazing; no matter if it was early in the morning or in the middle of the night, they cared and were very present for me.”

It took a few months to recuperate but he followed his cardiac rehabilitation schedule religiously with the ultimate goal of returning to CrossFit training. Today, Paul is focused on turning his heart issue into something that inspires and encourages others. He helped found a Facebook support group for “CrossFitters” with a variety of heart health issues called “I Heart CrossFit”.