Arcata’s Sweetheart On The Mend After Heart Surgery No. 6

Friday, May 24, 2013
Jessica McGuinty

Jessica McGuinty

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

ARCATA – Jessica McGuinty, founder/owner/CEO of Arcata-based Jessicurl, underwent her sixth heart surgery Wednesday.

McGuinty, 37, has become a heroine to curly-haired women around the world thanks to her line of hair-care products formulated for those formerly afflicted, now blessed with coily tresses.

Vivacious and outwardly healthy-looking, McGuinty suffers from mitral valve prolapse, tachycardia and atrial fibrillation.

Despite five operations, the conditions persist. Shortly after her last operation, a doctor told her she still needed a mitral valve repair. The sassy redhead replied with a two-word phrase, the second part of which was the word, “off.”

Overcoming her reluctance was the fact that she will not live more than five years unless the valve problem is repaired. “The rhythm stuff has come back, too,” she said. “Maybe they’re related.”

McGuinty had her leaky mitral valve repaired and underwent what’s known as a “Cox maze procedure,” intended to stabilize her heart’s electrical impulses by insulating them with scar tissue. “I think of it as kind of a firewall,” she said.

To her relief, she didn’t have to have her sternum cracked open for the work; instead, her chest was accessed through her ribcage.

McGuinty will be away from Arcata for two weeks.

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