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I Almost Died On This Day

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There are moments in life that define who we are -- moments that test our character and our faith. That moment for me came just before sunrise – on May 17, 2005 in Sacramento, California.


Just a few weeks before I was listening to a doctor explain the cause of my persistent cough. I thought I had a pesky case of bronchitis.

“Todd, you’ve got a big heart,” the doctor told me.

I smiled and thanked him for the kind words.

“I appreciate that,” I replied. “I go to church, try to help my neighbors…”

But doing good deeds was not the diagnosis he delivered. It was much more ominous.

My 37-year-old aortic valve had worn itself out. My heart was enlarged. I would need open heart surgery.


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