Yes, my pig valve has a name!

March 23, 2016

Yes, my pig valve has a name. His name is Wilbur. Wilbur came into my life on May 27, 2015 during my 2nd open heart surgery. I have no idea “what time” he was born as I clearly (and thankfully) was not awake. Here is the story behind his name.

My amazing group of friends from my old job came to visit me a few days after I came home from the hospital. I remember walking to the door, opening it and basically hugging myself so my chest wouldn’t hurt from laughing so hard. My parents could not stop laughing as well. Three of my dear friends were standing there holding a pig stuffed animal and one of those walking animal balloons. Can you guess which farm animal it was? Yep, you are right, it was indeed a PIG! And they had named him Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web.

When my friends found out that a pig saved my life, I knew I would NEVER hear the end of it. That is still true to this day. Now, at first I was not amused of this name and anything related to pigs. I was beside myself that my own mitral valve was taken away from me and something that wasn’t mine was put inside of me. When I first found out that I did have the full replacement with a pig valve, I was a little disgusted with myself. It was a weird feeling to know how and what exactly was still keeping my heart beating.

Wilbur is almost 1 year’s old!! I can’t believe my 1st anniversary of the full replacement is coming soon. It’s even hard to put into words how thankful I was able to receive Wilbur. He is a part of me for now and helping live a “normal” life.

These friends allowed me to understand how Wilbur is a valuable tool in staying alive. Rather than have lost something, I gained a better life for myself through him. Having a life long illness, I have learned you have to gain a sense of humor. I believe Wilbur has taught me just that. After all, he is my trusty sidekick!

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