tick tock hack chop

 Posted by at 8:12 pm
Sep 012011

edit – thank you everyone for the wishes! I feel like I’m already in a room up to my neck in flowers and cards.

Short version –Β I was told today that I need to have open-heart surgery as a matter of priority, which means in the next couple of weeks. Yeah I know, it sounds like a joke and I kinda wish it was.Β I’ll be in hospital for a week and the recovery process will take 3 months but I could be back on the computer as early as 4-6 weeks after surgery. I will be preparing enough content for the BCA FX course to auto-release while I’m out of action, so that’s going ahead as normal.

I’ll do my best to get the other Kickstarter rewards out but chances are that shipments for physical rewards will be delayed by 6-8 weeks. I’m really sorry about this but I’ll do what I can before the big day.

That’s the gist of it. For a longer version, read on..


OK so I was born with a faulty aortic valve that hindered the proper flow of blood through the heart. No big deal really, heart murmurs are quite common and I had an active childhood. When I was about 14 my chest tightened up, vision clouded over and I collapsed on the sports field at school. To cut that story short, I underwent surgery to push the faulty valve aside (effectively destroying it), allowing blood to move through the heart a bit better. That surgery was done entirely via a small incision in the main artery above my right leg.

That fixed things in a way, but throughout my life at the peak of exertion my heart would tell me when to back off, and I did. Even so,Β I’ve always stayed in shape, been very fit & active, competed in martial arts tournaments, loved walking, running, playing squash, climbing, hitting and throwing stuff. Even 3 years ago I was at the gym 3 times a week and in pretty good shape.

However, in the past couple of years there’s been sharp decline in my cardiovascular system. It’s at the stage now where I can’t even walk 20 metres on flat ground without stopping to recover for 10-20 seconds. Anyone who saw me at ComicCon last year might have noticed that instead of marching briskly around from booth to panel to pub to hotel,Β I was frequently pausing for breaks. You know something’s wrong when octogenarians surge past you in the street.

Today the cardio specialist at the local hospital showed me the differences between my heart and a perfectly healthy one. He carefully explained how my aortic valve (the ruined one) is now all crumpled, complicating the flow of blood. After walking for 30 sec there’s not enough oxygenated blood being distributed around my body and I get an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and that tightness in the chest from so long ago.

Anyway the long and short is that they’re going to split me down the middle and replace the shitty valve with an artificial one. Blood naturally sticks to metal bits so I’ll be on blood-thinning medication for the rest of my life. The upside is that after recovery and rehabilitation I’ll finally be able to run, hike and cycle again! That’s something I’m really looking forward to. Anyone for ComicCon 2012?

  94 Responses to “tick tock hack chop”

Comments (94)
  1. Damn man this really sucks… I hope all goes well and I’ll be praying for you!

    • Thanks Taylor. While it’s a big deal for me, the surgeons can do this particular thing with their eyes shut. I’m in good hands πŸ˜€

  2. Aortic stenosis? If so I have that too!

    • That’s the one. Is yours behaving itself?

      • I believe so. I haven’t had a surgery for about 10 years ( I am 19), but I haven’t gotten to a cardiologist in over a year, so I could be due for a tune up. How do you like the scars? I like to tell people I’ve been stabbed or attacked by bears.
        And good luck man!

  3. Holy crap. I think a friend of mine had that. The surgery went well, but it was still incredibly tense. I wish you a smooth recovery, and for you to take it easy.

    Please take care of yourself, dude.

  4. Now, if only we knew which hospital you were going to so we could flood the receptionist with flowers, grapes, porn mags and chocolate. Or is that a bad idea? πŸ˜€

    • I strongly second Mikes suggestion! Tell us and you know we’d follow through with it.

      Adam, all our thoughts are with you and that you have a speedy recovery and rest up when you get home. All the best from a BCA-FX brat & admirer.

    • actually Mike, that is an excellent idea. It’s Westmead hospital πŸ˜›
      And thanks Matt!

  5. I hope you will get better soon! πŸ™‚ Take it easy!

  6. I love you xxx

  7. dont rush adam πŸ™ take your time

  8. man good luck yea just think of how many chick you can pick up with that scar . my god be with you, have a health recovery

  9. πŸ™ sorry you have to be operated on, but it’ll be so worth it once you’ve recovered. Good luck. I’ll be thinking of you.

  10. Oh my god. As much positive heart vibes as I can spare are being directed your way. Maybe this is your first step on becoming a superior cyborg being. Please be well sir.

  11. Hey Adam, I had something similar over a year ago where vegetation grew on the top of my heart and made me anemic to the point of no white blood cells being produced. Went from 1 month to live to doing cartwheels around my graveyard plot. Modern science prevailed they can work their Voo Doo miracles and this will become a distant memory. You’d be screwed if you lived in Brackenwood. Kickstarters can wait…this can’t. All the best….Tim

  12. Good luck with the surgery Adam. Just make sure you make a full recovery : )

  13. We shall jog from pub to pub in comic con. Or you can jog while you carry my on your back, yea that sounds better.

  14. Get well soon, Adam!

  15. Oh man, sorry to hear that, but if it’s been a life long thing I’m sure it will be grand to have it over with! You should be bounding around like Bitey in no time.

    • Coincidentally, this big animation project I’ve been working on is actually a computer based training for children with heart defects. It teaches teenagers about how to take care of themselves after they are grown and their parents no longer make their doctor appointments and fill their prescriptions. So I plan on taking a couple things I learn in your course and applying it to the project. So you are doing something to help kids with heart problems by creating this course. πŸ™‚

  16. Good luck with the surgery! Hope you recover quickly πŸ™‚

  17. Good luck with the surgery; I’m sure you’ll be fine!

    Hope you can relax and have a speedy recovery!

  18. Oh Man, I’m really sorry to hear that my grandpop is actually going for a heart operation today. I really hope you come back to all of us(your fans) healthy and ok! Good luck

  19. Take care of yourself. Your health means more than the project deadlines.

    I’m sure you’ll be tearing around like a Dashkin again soon enough.

  20. Get your ass better bud. I guess I will have to unchain you from your desk for a few weeks….. but do NOT get comfy all tucked into that hospital bed…. cause I will not give you a very long reprieve!

    And by the way, the hospital gown goes on the other way round…. no flashing old ladies!
    Make sure they put back everything they take out with the exception of the faulty bits…..
    Enjoy the narcotics…. but not too much.
    Eat what you want now, cause hospital food sucks.
    Hassle all the nurses you can.

    And get yer ass better ASAP man!

    Thats all the advice I can muster right now…. I’m getting all misty eyed….

    BTW…. Love you too! (Hi Mum!)

  21. Oh gag.

    Sod the rewards, just focus on getting better. All the best to you.

  22. I sympathize with you because I am having brain surgery done in a few weeks. I admire your strength and I’m sure you will have a quick recovery. Keep us posted!

  23. Good luck Adam..and quick recovery…Peace.

  24. Get better soon, Old Friend. Sending you the best wishes for a speedy and thorough recovery.

  25. Yikes! We’ll be praying and hoping that the surgery is a success! GWS!!!!

  26. PS What address do we send cards and stuff to if a person is say halfway accross the world???

  27. Get well soon! I’m sorry to hear that you need surgery, but it’s awesome that it sounds like this can be fixed and won’t be too terrible. Hope all goes well and you get back on your feet (and into life) again soon.

  28. All the best Adam, we’ll all be thinking of you. Thanks heaps for all your amazing work. Rest up and relax back to good health!!

  29. All the best thoughts and wishes, dude.

  30. Get well soon Adam, and enjoy your new life as a cyborg. I hope this surgery gets you back to your old self or better.

    • Better physically, I don’t see how a new heart valve would make you a better animator.

      • You haven’t heard? They have this special new artificial valve that DOES make you a better animator! I’m getting a few of them installed. Thanks for the message πŸ™‚

        • A few, just any old place then? So it sounds like they are doing it the old fashion way with surgeons with scalpels then? In the states it seems like more and more heart surgeries are being done remotely with robots, I don’t really know about elsewhere in the world though.

  31. I am sorry to hear about your complications, I too have a circulation problem as well, it’s not fun. It’s great to know that you are getting it repaired, I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you when you return. I wish you well Adam.

  32. I pray to Lord Ganesh for your health.Wish you good luck and look forward to see you,
    back in action soon.

  33. Wow. Adam, our thoughts are with you – hope you have a fast recovery and are feeling happy and healthy again soon. Take care!! Txx

  34. Good luck, hope everything works out. I bet it’ll be a cool scar! ^_^

  35. yikes!!, get well soon dude, you cant die on me before the next bitey episode is up XD

  36. I’ll add my voice to the others wishing you the best in your surgery! Hope it all turns out well. Are you going to need to start worrying about walking around magnets?

  37. Wow! I hope you go thru it OK and heal quickly! Hopefully you”ll have stuff to do while recuperating.

    Best of luck!

  38. Good luck to you sir, and may you be having a beer and back to drawing in no time πŸ™‚

  39. wow that sucks adam.happy healing!

  40. Aw hell man. I really hope you pull though. Sounds like your doctor has it in hand though. Wishing for a perfect surgery.

  41. I hope your surgery goes well. Wishing for the best.

  42. Believe me when I say all your fans are hoping that everything goes well for you.

    Take care. Rest up.

    We’ll still be here when you get back, ready for some more Bitey action.

    All the best

  43. Whoa! That’s pretty serious business! Take it easy. πŸ™‚
    Make sure you don’t cut yourself on blood thinners :-O

  44. I am so sorry to hear about all that. Luckily we live in an age where medicine and surgery are incredible, so all will be well πŸ™‚

  45. will try to get in contact with you before i go back to the mines love you mate amd take care

  46. Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear of you medical troubles. I hope, as I’m sure it will, that everything goes fine with the surgery. We all wont mind waiting as long as we need to for you to fully recover, getting better is your main priority. Best of luck Adam, and get well soon!

  47. Hey Adam, thank you for giving me a place of warmth and beauty to go visit when I’m feeling down. Brackenwood is a wonderful little world, and I look forward to many more adventures there in the years to come. My best wishes, get well soon πŸ™‚

  48. Wishing you well Adam! Hope you make a speedy recovery! All the best! πŸ™‚

  49. Get well Adam and don’t stress the small stuff till the rehab is done and over with. Good luck and don’t piss off the hot chicks too much =P

  50. Best wishes and hope you have a speedy recovery. Good luck, dude.

  51. I read this post and got that sort of sharp shock you get when you hear distressing news about a close friend. Of course, you don’t know me from … well, Adam. Okay, I suppose you do know me from at least one Adam, but, at any rate, I hope it isn’t too odd that I’m reacting so strongly and wishing so fervently for the speedy recovery of someone I’ve never actually met. It’s just that, like so many others around the globe, I’ve come to see you as an animation hero, an outstanding teacher, and an all around decent guy. I do intend to limit my hero worship to the long distance variety, however, so you needn’t worry about me haunting your recovery room. Unless, of course, you go for too long without a blog post or a tweet or some other indication that all is well. In that case, all bets are off. Best wishes, sir!

    • Thanks so much for the message, Matt. Don’t worry I’ll have a nurse plop my arms onto my laptop the moment I’m clear-headed enough to work πŸ™‚

      • I bet your hands are back on the keyboard long before your clear headed. As a matter of fact I’m willing to wager that the first note we see from you wont make any sense what so ever! πŸ™‚

  52. All the best to you to recover swiftly! β™₯

  53. Hope everything goes well with the operation and also to have a good and smooth recovery adam…take it easy and get back in action even stronger!

  54. Too bad the lab grown aortic valves are still a work in progress =

    Hope the surgery goes well and your recovery goes great

  55. Good luck and I hope you have a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.

  56. I wish you the best Adam !

  57. This news shocked me big time and not because of the work delay and that kind of stuff but because I too have an aortic valve malformation since I was born and I kinda know how bitch that conditions can be and how scary it is to be explained that you’re going to be split in half and your heart’s gonna be touched here and there, no metaphor intended. I hope your surgery can go through any complications and you have an easy recovery time. Surgeries like that are far more feared than complicated so you have nothing to be afraid of, everything’s going to be okay. Hope to hear good new from you as soon as possible and look at the bright side! You’re one step less to become an immortal cyborg πŸ˜‰

  58. Oh my gosh man, that is so upsetting to hear!! πŸ™ My mom also had heart trouble so I know how unnerving it can be to undergo heart surgery. You’ll be in my prayers for a successful surgery and a fast recovery.

    PS: Please don’t die!!! 0__0 You’re an amazing artist and animator and the world would be a much less fantastic place without you. Best wishes Adam!!

  59. Good luck, man. My family wish you and your family only the best.

    My family has always been riddled with medical issues, I’ve visited the hospital for four surgeries in the past two years. Walking is difficult and it’s put my family through hoops both emotional and financial.
    I know what it’s like having complications that feel like it immobilizes you for years.

    Stay strong and get your running shoes on! I expect to hear you up and exercising! I know your heart will appreciate it. πŸ™‚

    All my love~<3

  60. Oh man πŸ™ get better soon dude best wishes man.

  61. Good Luck Adam!! Hope you have a speedy recovery, my friend!

  62. Oh man, get better soon pal.

  63. Adam, I would just like to say it’s very upsetting to hear about your situation and I wish you nothing but my best wishes; I pray that the surgery goes successfully and that you recover in good time. Stay strong and thank you for your work in the Flash scene (or other) so far – you’ve been a massive inspiration.

  64. My dad and open heart sugery once. Hope you end up like him, alive and well.

  65. Sorry I’m late to the well-wishing party, Adam. When I read the news, I got that aching sense of anxiety that’s usually reserved for close friends and family, even though it sounds like you’re in the best of hands. Here’s for hoping for no complications and a speedy recovery!

  66. I wish you the best for your surgery, man!

  67. I don’t know what to say in particular. I wish you well and i am sorry I missed the kickstarter but seeing as i am 15 in england with little to donate, oh well. good luck in the surgery and continue to create.

  68. I wish you a good and healthy life and that you’ll recover soon πŸ˜€
    You’re my favorite person!

  69. Sorry to hear you have a problem mate.. glad to hear it is fixable (and not a lot of danger of complications then either sounds like?), and you’ll be back on your feet relatively soon. Take care mate, I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  70. Adam, the tutorials and courses you’ve created are very much appreciated. Your animation is absolutely incredible and has inspired me greatly! I hope all goes well with regards to your surgery. I am sending positive energy your way! Take care, sir!

  71. Good luck dude, hope all goes well πŸ™‚

  72. I just got back from an out of country trip and saw this. I’m assuming that the surgery already came to pass so I hope that the recover is smooth and fluffy. Enjoy the sponge-baths!

    • It hasn’t happened yet Stephen. I’m meeting my surgeon on Oct 21 when he’ll set a date for the procedure. I was hoping to be recovered by New Year but I’m not sure what’s going on now

  73. My heart gives me hell too. Sucks, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you Adam, hope everything is going smoothly, and this game looks like a blast! I love your work, so my heart goes out to you! Get well soon.

  74. To Craig-When you lay on your left side your heart beat waves bounces off your ribbs – This is why you can feel the heart beat more and your blood pressure can have an effect on your heart rate and how it reacts. When the nurse performs an ECHO they have you lay on your left side. Also, if any one is dehydrated then you can have more heart flutter symptoms. To David from April 11, 2000-Travel can effect heart flutters – at least it does with me. High altitude can really mess with my heart rate to the point I would sware I was dying! Drink lots of water and NO sugar or caffeine. Stress will also drive your heart rate crazy – I have learned that everything has to be done in a calm manner. Pick your stressfull moments and then just let the otherones pass you by. I also have trouble with waking up to heart palpitations-sometimes I’m dreaming and have had a rush of adrenilin(sp) and sometimes I have no reason for the event. But it scares me to death. My heart flutters tend to be triggered by movement – bending my head to my feet, stretching in a certain position or getting up too fast from a sitting position. Although, they can happen on there own with no movement from me. Does anybody else have the movement/heart flutter problem?

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