Nicholas Morrissey via Crowdrise
September 10, 2012
BENEFITING: American Heart Association
ORGANIZER: The Careys
EVENT DATE: Nov 04, 2012
I am sharing a narrative from my patient who will be running the NYC Marathon this year. She inspired me to ramp up my training and get on track to run this year while raising $$ for cardiovascular disease. Perhaps there is no better way to demonstrate the impact of living a healthy life than seeing all these incredible people run marathons after such health challenges
On December 30, 2004, I decided to make some healthy changes and I quit smoking. Four months later, I started running.
After years of running with calf pain, I found out that my left external iliac was blocked. In July, 2011, I had bypass surgery of my left external iliac. I was told the iliac could not be opened by angioplasty or a stent. Surgery was my only option. I had over 6 weeks of recovery and had to postpone running the 2011 NYC Marathon.
In January 2012 the same pain started again in my thigh. Again, months went by before it was confirmed my bypass was blocked. I had an unsuccessful attempt to open the bypass in June. I was totally frustrated.
After talking to a few doctors, one recommended me to Dr. Nicholas Morrissey, vascular surgeon at NY Presbyterian/Columbia. Dr. Morrissey knew I shouldn’t have to live like this and was positive he would open the original blockage. He also wanted blood work to see why I clotted so easily and quickly. We learned that I have atherosclerosis, just like my dad did, and a mutant gene that can contribute to vascular disease . On August 10th, Dr. Morrissey successfully opened my iliac artery with angioplasty and a stent. My recovery was in days not weeks. I was back to feeling good and running slowly 2 weeks later.
I am very grateful to Dr. Morrissey and his team. My plans to run the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2012 did not have to change except now I will be running with my surgeon
The Careys . wrote -
Heart Disease has affected our family profoundly. I am a Survivor, and my brother is facing a potential heart transplant. We also have friends, and members on both sides of our family who've had heart related deaths. We're helping inspire patients and families going through the same thing, and looking to spread awareness and fundraise for heart charities.
In April of 2009 I was diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm, the same condition that killed the actor John Ritter. I was 37 years old and otherwise in perfect health. I was lean, athletic, and in better shape than most people half my age. I never would have thought in a million years that I would soon be laying on an operating table, cut open like a rack of lamb with a stranger holding pieces of my beating heart and soul in his hands; while my wife and two young children pondered the uncertainties of life. I survived thanks to Doctors Mark Singer and Kenneth Walsh who found and diagnosed the aneurysm, and to Dr. Allan Stewart, the best heart surgeon in the country. A year later I ran in the 2010 NYC Marathon (my first ever) with my wife, and my surgeon. Doing this on the one year anniversary of my open heart surgery was my way of kicking sand in the face of aortic disease, and helping increase awareness to prevent deaths like that of John Ritter. I published a book about my experience called "Barefoot in November".
About the Team:
Team Heartosaurus for the American Heart Association
The mission of the American Heart Association is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all they do. The need for their work is beyond question.
Heartosaurus: noun [heart-o-sau-rus] 1. An inspiring online reference for open heart surgery patients. 2. A heart patient with an inextinguishable desire not merely to survive, but to live life to its fullest. 3. A doctor, caregiver, or anyone who makes a profound difference to the cause.
Team Heartosaurus is a global network of individuals collectively driven to increase awareness of the many aspects of heart disease, and who embody a "live life to it's fullest" attitude. They are fighters, and pillars of strength and always looking for patients, doctors, family members and others who share this common bond, to join the team. Team members compete in runs. triathlons, cycling, and marathons. Others simply sport the iconic jerseys as a sign of their belonging. You don't have to be an athlete to be on the team, you just need to be a Heartosaurus.
Team Heartosaurus is made up of people with inspiring, bittersweet stories. Once again we are coming together to embark on the NYC Marathon. As we knock down each mile, we will carry the spirit of loved ones who've passed, inspiring other patients, and honoring the doctors and nurses who cared for us.
Be a Heartosaurus and make a donation in memory of someone you love who has been affected by heart disease. Your donation will go to the American Heart Association and we'll be honoring you on race day. If you want to get more involved you can also join our team and become a fundraiser even if you're not running!
Thank you for your love and support. We're all living a story, and we'd like you to be part of ours. We're all about living life to it's fullest, helping others, and returning Karma. -- Pass it on!