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Having Pig Heart Valves Doesn't Make You a Swine

March 12, 2001

I take offense to the article about Arnold's "pig valve" ("Schwarzenegger's Friends Swoop In to Defend His Honor," March 2). I had open heart surgery in 1978, and they put in a pig valve. It was only supposed to last for five to seven years. Well, I just had surgery in August to take it out. My surgeon was none other than Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes, the same surgeon who operated on Arnold. Having a pig valve for 22 years did not make me "swinish" or "piggish." It actually gave me extra life. I am upset that people think it is funny to laugh at stuff like that. Why his friends felt they needed to defend him is confusing me.

The article quotes Starnes as saying, "His valve was replaced by two human valves and not four pig valves as stated in the article." Why does it matter?

KALEEN FLINTON

Sierra Madre

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