HARTVILLE, OHIO (WJW) – After more than four months in intensive care, a Stark County man is sharing the story of what he calls his miraculous recovery with a reconstructed heart.
“Grateful isn’t the word, just totally blessed,” said Jon Misner, 66, holding back tears.
Sitting at the kitchen table with his wife JoAnn of nearly 46 years. This Thanksgiving, celebrations will be especially heartwarming. It’s the first holiday of the season where the entire family will be together with Misner at home.
A weak heart, as Jon called it, landed him in the operating room in the spring, after a stress test revealed serious concerns. The surgery turned out to be more complex than expected.
“I was basically open-chested for quite a while because of the unforeseen complication that arose from there. They couldn’t close me up,” said Misner. “I was life-flighted to Cleveland in an open state which was pretty traumatic.”
After being transported via helicopter to University Hospitals in Cleveland, additional complicated surgery was needed to rebuild his heart according to his surgeon, Dr. Marc Pelletier, Director of the Heart Surgery Center at UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute.
“Jon was in a terrible way when he came to us,” said Dr. Pelletier. “Jon came and he was very, very unstable. There was a barrier over his chest, but the bones were not closed together. There was some bleeding.”
It took nearly an entire day, Dr. Pelletier said, to reconstruct part of Jon’s heart.
“Re-doing his mitral valve, the valve that had been implanted, we took that out.” said Dr. Pelletier. “We had to reconstruct part of his heart, we had to get a new valve in.”
Jon remained in the ICU for four and a half months. He battled multiple organ failure, was placed on a ventilator and used a feeding tube. Even his surgeon worried about the long road ahead.
“Were we doing the right thing for Jon,” said Dr. Pelletier. “Were we just prolonging misery? His lungs weren’t great, his kidneys weren’t great. So, for somebody to have multi-organ failure like that and to make it out of hospital to recover the odds were definitely against Jon.”
Jon said his care team and unwavering faith from his wife and their four children who visited the hospital every day pulled him through.
“I’d sit with him all day long and go up the next day and there were some days I just didn’t think he was gonna make it but God willing he did,” she said.
The grandfather of seven calls his family the “A team” for never giving up on his recovery.
“My sister bought me a shirt that said miracles still happen, and I wear that shirt every once in a while, and I’m proof of that,” Jon said.
With Jon’s heart now in so many good hands.
“Love isn’t the word for it, it’s higher than that,” he said.
On this Thanksgiving and each one after.
“Just thank God every day for miracles,” his wife said. We’re just thankful for him.”