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LiveWell Blog

Breathing Easier After Heart Valve Replacement

Sherry Archibald Says Support and Accountability in Cardiac Rehab Helped Her Recovery

On the heels of surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve, Sherry Archibald admits she was overly optimistic about her recovery. At 47 years old, the Goldsboro resident knew she didn’t fit the age and health profile of most cardiac patients.

“It was hard to imagine the lack of energy and strength that would come for so long,” said Archibald, a busy theatre manager, wife and mother. “I anticipated that I would be back to work within a month.” It would be six weeks before Archibald felt well enough to return to part-time work, and her recovery continues today – more than six months after her minimally-invasive valve repair.

Archibald credits her time in cardiac rehab at Wayne UNC Health Care with giving her the support and accountability she’s needed to heal. “The people there had the greatest impact. It’s their consistency,” she said. “They are there every morning, always ready to go with a smile on their faces, so in tune with
what’s going on with each individual person.”

As Archibald was finishing up her cardiac rehab, she discovered, with the help of the team, that she has another valve disorder. She continues to monitor and care for her condition with the healthy lifestyle habits she’s learned in cardiac rehab.