A new heart for the tin man…

(pig heart, from pigs butchered in March.)

Right after we graduated from college my best friend was told she needed open heart surgery to replace her aortic valve. One of the options she had was to replace her broken valve with a pig valve. But she was told the pig valve might not last as long, so she might have to have another surgery later in life. She chose the mechanical valve instead. If you listen really closely, you can hear her heart clicking. It is a constant reminder that life is short and science is amazing.

So please take care of your heart and the hearts of people you love.

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

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  1. Betsy Skelton May 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    🙂 I will call soon as we need to catch up!


  2. My husband had this same surgery in 2002. It was due to a faulty aortic valve, a congenital condition they assume. He will be on Coumadin the rest of his life.

    I thank GOD everyday for the brillance of science and the gift of his life.


  3. we’re teaching our 1st graders all about the heart and they’re loving it.
    one of my kids said today, ‘i always thought the heart looked like this…’ (with a drawing of a classic little heart shape) and then we looked again at the real heart…and, it turns out, it DOES! just like the one in your photo.
    beautiful shot.


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