[unscripted]: The Maatman's Story

​In the 10th episode of [unscripted], Lynn and Steve Maatman share how Steve's diagnosis of a leaky mitral valve helped them discover that Lynn had the same condition, but worse, and what Mario Castillo-Sang, MD, did to help them get back to gardening and doing the things they enjoy.

This is the Maatman's story, in their own words ... unscripted

Love, but not at first sight

Lynn: I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was born right here at Christ Hospital.

Steve: I was born and raised in Highland, Mich., and in 1978, I felt like I needed a change so I moved to Cincinnati. Lynn and I met at church and we were married about eight months later.

Eight months? Would you say it was love at first sight then?

Lynn: No.

Steve: No ...

Lynn: Oh, I shouldn't have said that.

Steve: You're all right, dear.

Lynn:  Just strike that.

Steve: I won't hold that against you.

Leaky valves, party of two

Steve: I think April of 2016, I want to say, I decided to put in pavers in the patio using the large patio stones that were 30, 35 pounds and my son helped me and realized that I was really having some issues. Those things led to identifying that I had a leaky mitral valve, which I had no idea that I had. Meeting with him, he made some comment about I probably get winded going up and down the steps and I said, "No, I don't," but Lynn's and my gaze met each other and they picked up on it and they said, "What's going on here?" I said, "Well, I don't have a problem with getting out of breath, but my wife does."

Lynn: I noticed that my energy was going downhill. He said that all four valves were leaking so at that point, we moved on to an appointment with Dr. Mario Castillo-Sang.

Steve: He really put us both quite at ease and gave us quite a bit of time and attention and walked through the entire process of what the heart looked like, what the colors meant, and I knew right instantly that this was my doctor, and I canceled the other second opinion appointment because I just felt so good about Dr. Castillo-Sang. I was sitting in the waiting room just before surgery and I think I was very frightened. I felt so helpless and yet, I had so much great care.

Lynn: I remember a few weeks ago when it was just starting to get warm and I decided I was going to plant some flowers and I achieved five flowers into the ground, and I was so disappointed. The next day I got flowers in. Now our flower gardens and our pots look great, but it is a process and you get stronger each day and that's what's happening.

Steve: I'm lifting and doing things, gardening. I can lift 40, 50 pounds and it's not a problem. Do I get out of breath once in a while? Yes, I do, but ...

Lynn: I had said that this was kind of like the elephant in the room when you are dealing with an issue. When things aren't right, don't sit around and not do anything. You need to go to your doctor and just keep going until you get answers. I just think it was a real gift to be able to be here. They were both very thorough, very caring and got to the bottom. They did not give up. We have a lot to be thankful for.

Steve: Yeah, we do.

Lynn: We really do.

Think you or a loved one might have something heart-related going on? Click to read how our team of heart & vascular experts at Greater Cincinnati's Heart Hospital, like Dr. Castillo-Sang, can help.