New Life Pastor Has Open Heart Surgery; Recovering in Colo. Hospital

New Life Church Pastor Brady Boyd is in the hospital after undergoing openheart surgery Friday.

Boyd, the pastor who took over Ted Haggard's Colorado Springs church, had surgery to replace a pulmonary valve. He endured two pre-surgeries before the June 10th procedure.

“Brady has asked for prayers today for pain in his chest and neck as he recovers in ICU. He sends his love to you all,” a Saturday posting on his Twitter account says.

Boyd is expected to remain in the hospital for the next five to seven days and recover at home for four to six weeks following his hospital stay.

Prior to his operation, Boyd wrote a very optimistic message on his blog.

"This surgery is fairly common and the prognosis for a full recovery is very good. In fact, my doctors say I will have more energy than ever after the surgery. So get ready for Turbo Brady in July!" he shared.

The surgery was meant to treat Boyd's congenital heart disease, a condition he has had since birth. Boyd described his experiences with the disease during a May 22 sermon. "I was born with a pulmonary valve that was not fully functioning so I've grown up all of my life with a pretty bad murmur," he explained.

He told the church that his heart beat sounds similar to "a leaky pipe."

According to medical website WebMD, congenital heart disease is a type of defect or malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs before birth.

The defects Boyd described affects eight to 10 out of every 1,000 children. Also, about 500,000 adults in the U.S. live with congenital heart disease.

Boyd said he had some surgeries as a child, but had received a clean bill of health in heart examinations ever since.

After an examination early this year, Boyd's cardiologist (incidentally a New Life member) told him that his pulmonary valve was in moderate to severe condition and surgery was necessary.

Boyd described his feelings to the news, saying, "That wrecked my day to say the least." Yet Boyd acknowledged in his May sermon that life is not always a smooth journey.

The megachurch pastor has experienced bumps before.

After becoming New Life's senior pastor four years ago, troubled youth Matthew Murray, 24, came onto the church's campus and murdered two members and injured three more. The incident was a second blow to a congregation shamed by the public drug and sex scandal of its previous pastor, Haggard.

In the midst of that hard time, Boyd learned that to survive trying times, people have to be honest about their pain and hurt, and cling to God. Those lessons are the subject of his recently published book, Fear No Evil.

Boyd has been very honest about his heart condition and resulting surgery, speaking about it in sermons and in his blog. He has asked for prayers for the procedure, the operating doctors and nurses, minimal pain in the recovery, and his wife Pam.

According to the pastor's twitter account, Boyd's surgery "went well." Pam Boyd tweeted that her husband was in recovery for two hours Friday and then transferred to the intensive care unit. Pastor Boyd shared on his website that he hopes to return to church on July 17.

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