In May 2022, Edwards Lifesciences welcomed 80 visitors, including patients, their care partners and guests to our Irvine, Calif. corporate headquarters to get an insiders’ look into our more than 60-year history, meet the teams who made their heart valves and share their inspirational journeys with our employees.
Sarah Sue, a 20-year-old Ohio State University student who attends school on a volleyball scholarship, was among them. She and her parents, Mike and Carole, spent an emotional two days getting to know the company behind the heart valve technology that has forever changed their daughter’s life.
Sarah Sue is a congenital heart patient who had her first open-heart surgery soon after birth. She had to have subsequent surgeries, and, in December 2020, she made the decision to have her pulmonary valve replaced in order to continue playing volleyball. The transcatheter heart valve therapy had her back on the court just a few weeks after surgery, playing the game she loves.
Now, every time she steps onto the volleyball court, she thanks her new heart valve, which she affectionately calls Valerie. Sarah Sue has become a patient advocate through her collaboration with the American Heart Association and is able to bring hope to other families by sharing her journey.