My name is Lea Parker and I had open heart surgery on February 3, 2016 to replace my aortic valve. I was diagnosed with moderate aortic stenosis in 2003 and my cardiologist monitored my condition for many years before the stenosis became severe and it was recommended that my valve be replaced with an Edwards Magna valve; a bio-prosthetic valve made with bovine tissue. During my surgery, my thoracic surgeon confirmed that the reason for my stenosis at such a young age was due to a congenital heart defect called a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) which meant my valve had 2 flaps instead of 3. And, he determined I had an enlarged aorta and treated the aneurysm by performing aortaplasty to reduce the size and prevent rupture. My Congenital Heart Specialist also monitors a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) which is a hole between my ventricles (a common congenital defect with BAV). I joined Mended Hearts in order to help others facing heart procedures and I have found in my effort to give back, that I receive so much more in return. MH is a wonderful way to connect and the organization has a great mission and some of the finest people - people with heart!