My Pig Valve and I
- Title: My Pig Valve and I: Surviving 19 Years With An Artificial Heart Valve
- Authors: Priscilla Rigney and Brandon Rigney
- Genre: Medicine, Cardiology, Science
- Length: 42 pages
- Publication Date: September 11, 2015
My Pig Valve and I – Synopsis
The author is a 90+ year-old female who had open heart surgery 19 years ago to replace a faulty mitral valve which controls internal heart blood flow. The failing valve was replaced with an artificial valve obtained from a pig, which has a usual life expectancy in a human heart of 8 to 10 years.
The story describes events leading up to the diagnosis of a bad valve, the operation and patient’s subsequent recovery, and the years following which involve medications and other mechanisms to control the heart. These include the insertion of a second pacemaker, when the first one expired after its 10-year battery life was consumed.
The patient’s story is complicated by the simultaneous severe illness from cancer experienced by her husband, the co-author of this book.
The constant fear of the failure of the pig valve is described, as it has outlived its normal life expectancy.
Brandon Rigney attended and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. Later, while living in Pittsburgh, PA, and working for Westinghouse, he attended the U. of Pittsburgh graduate school of business (now named the Katz School of Business).
He spent 15 years as an engineer with several large companies involved with developing nuclear reactors and ultimately a nuclear-powered rocket planned for Mars exploration.
Next he spent 20 years in real estate development and investment brokerage, working for several large New York stock brokerage firms. During this time he created his own licensed investment brokerage firm in Dallas, TX, where he resides today.
The past 20 years have been spent in sales and marketing. After semi-retirement Brandon decided to commit time to develop books on his life experiences, which he is pursuing now.