Shea Hussey seemed to be a completely healthy 27-year-old.
But one day at work, he started feeling chest pains.
“It really freaked me out,” Hussey said. “It started happening more and more and more. Reached back out, made an appointment, ran a few tests and found out that I needed to get a valve replaced.”
Hussey had briefly mentioned the pain he felt to Dr. Marcus Smith at the Cardiovascular Health Clinic in Oklahoma City.
While Hussey took it as something minor, Dr. Smith urged him to get a check-up.
“He's having pretty significant symptoms,” Dr. Smith said. “He's having some chest pains, some palpitations. I knew that once I had examined him, there was something going on from the exam standpoint in the sense that he had a murmur.”
Hussey almost decided not to get the check-up, but when he did, the results surprised him.
“What Shea has is called a bicuspid valve, which means he has a congenital valve issue which he was born with,” Dr. Smith said. “In fact, it's present in about 1 to 2 percent of the population.”
The date for open heart surgery was set.
Hussey said his biggest fear was his life not being the same.
“I just remember hearing you have to have open heart surgery and then nothing else,” Hussey said. “What does this mean for the rest of my life?”
Dr. Smith said you should always get yourself checked when something doesn't feel right, regardless of age. It's better to be safe than sorry.
“Luckily, this stuff revealed itself pretty quickly with Shea and his situation,” Dr. Smith said. “Always take your patients seriously and, as a patient, always take your symptoms seriously.”
At this time, Hussey is out of the hospital and recovering.