PFO Patients Still Not getting RESPECT

While the medical community sits quietly waiting to hear the results of the RESPECT  clinical trial data, PFO patients suffer from the ongoing uncertainty of this PFO paradox.-DP Dansereau

I was about to start my day this morning when I took a call from a stroke survivor who was trying to understand why her PFO couldn’t simply be closed to reduce further stroke risk.  At 28 years old this patient mentioned her “life is now on hold” while she fights to get her PFO closed.

She directed  me to this video in anger of how Dr. Travis Stork of  The Doctors described why a PFO presents a stroke risk and that “is why you fix it”.   She stated, “Why is it so easy for someone like Bret Michaels (who also had a stroke) to get PFO closure, and why am I being told it is not available for me?”.  In this  interview with Bret Michaels, Dr. Masterson does a nice job clearly describing what causes a hole in the heart, but  in my opinion Dr. Stork probably should have done more research on PFO closure or had chosen more careful words.

Watch the video and see if you agree.  The one comment that really bothered me (in addition to the one I described by my caller) was the observation that Dr. Stork made at the end of the clip when he describes how “ironically” this hole in Bret’s heart, or this condition is not something he’s even the most passionate about.

Perhaps patients need a more visible victim of stroke to stand up and be more passionate for PFO, like a celebrity that has the star power to get attention for this condition.  A terrible request, I know, but while trying to get this done on my lunch break with these posts I am reminded again why PFO care is back in the dark ages.

So sad, and yet so sorry for all the patients still trying to find their way in the PFO maze and still not getting RESPECT!

David Dansereau at

David Dansereau /

Published by David Dansereau

Licensed Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and Author in private consulting practice at PTC Physical Therapy Consulting and SmartMovesPT. is my blog and members resource to raise stroke awareness and educate the public about reducing stroke risk as well as provide tips, tools and review new technologies for stroke recovery. Learn about my book, Body in Balance sold on Amazon at

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1 Comment

  1. thanks – this is a excellent presentation and eay to understand – great for us patients to share with our loved ones. But I agree, this video falls short – they don’t mention other things that go along with untreated PFO, i.e. 2 way shunting, ASA, etc. etc. Some of us are high risk of stroke plus other things down the line!


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