There is an argument going on over at the Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dys Facebook page. The controversy is over sharing sad news, or sweeping it under the rug for the sake of MVP patients’ sensitive natures (i.e. “We can’t handle it”).
One of the members had her valve replaced, and her surgery buddy (who was only 22) died yesterday after fighting complications for weeks. The group members had been following her recovery so of course she would want to share the news with everyone. Some folks commented that this was inappropriate since it would upset a lot of the younger group members, who already are afraid of dying from their heart condition. It was also pointed out that young people die every day, not just from complications from heart valve surgery, so posting about it seemed to be simply for the purpose of inciting anxiety in the crowd.
I don’t think that was her intent, and I don’t think we — as MVP patients — are unable to cope with issues like this. You cannot shelter an MVP patient, nor should you try to.
Any young person’s death is a terrible loss, but all MVP patients have to bear in mind that the chance of death due to their heart condition is extremely small. We don’t know what this young man died from. We don’t know his medical history. We don’t know the quality of his doctors. We don’t know what other medical issues he might have had. We don’t know the severity of his heart condition. We have absolutely no information, so to assume anyone with MVP will meet the same fate is ridiculous.
My heart goes out to this young man’s family and friends, and we mourn the loss along with our friends in the Facebook group. It’s difficult to hear of such a loss, for many reasons, but we are strong and we will support those suffering.