Keeping your heart in the game

Posted on 12.10.2022

When Dan Gay found out that he had a faulty heart valve, he faced the biggest challenge of his life: giving up basketball.

The professional basketball player was competing at the World Championships when he collapsed on the court. “They took me to the hospital and said: ‘You need to have surgery because your heart valve is not functioning properly’,” he remembers. An echocardiogram (a type of ultrasound scan that takes images of the heart) revealed that he had severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve opening which was restricting the blood flow through his heart. The valve would need to be replaced with an artificial one.