In the crisp air of the Ralph Walker Rink in New Haven, an ice hockey enthusiast has just turned life’s unexpected slap shot into a winning goal. The resounding heartbeat of triumph has just taken over the echoing sound of skates slicing through the ice.

From the adrenaline-charged days of his high school, the man in his 60s has stepped into the camaraderie of Sunday sauce hockey in his hometown just a year after having open heart surgery. Let’s unravel this extraordinary saga of the 60-year-old who has gracefully maneuvered his way back to the ice after fighting against the threatening aortic stenosis.

Steve Bevins’s remarkable return to hockey glory skating against adversities


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Steve Bevins was just a 12-year-old boy when he came to know that the heart he continued to put into the game was matched by the delicate rhythm of his own. I was diagnosed with a murmur when I was probably in middle school, 12 years old or so. And the doctors monitored it and kept track of it,” stated Bevins. Fast forward a decade, and the heartbeat of his favorite pastime was threatened by the same murmur. Little did Bevins know that the ‘murmur’ detected in his youth would one day unexpectedly transform into a life-altering diagnosis of aortic stenosis.

Medical professionals stated that the ailment Bevins was diagnosed with was slowing, resulting in the constriction of his aortic valve, which posed a barrier to normal blood flow. But his youthful love and passion for the game have always been too strong to keep him from pursuing it.

But things were slowly moving towards the worst. He got winded at a men’s league game the previous year when he realized that it was time for him to take a step for his well-being. Bevins said, It was starting to close up. So it was time to do the surgery.” Bevins further added, “I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared.”

That was the point when Bevins found a game-changer in the form of his doctor. Bevins met Dr. Sabet Hashim (Cardiac Surgery Chairman and Co-Physician in Chief of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute) at Hartford Hospital, and truly, he helped Bevins restart his life in all ways possible.

Dr. Hashim’s game-changing moves in bringing Bevins’s heart back to the ice

Bevins discussed all possible options with his doctor for treating the aortic stenosis. Finally, in October 2023, Dr. Hashim performed an open heart surgery to replace Bevins’s aortic valve with a mechanical one. Doctor Hashim said, “He’s a very active person, and the aortic stenosis was impeding the quality of his life. He was not happy with the way things were going. And he knew also that things would get worse in time.”.


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Bevins was kept under observation in the hospital for about 3 days after the open-heart surgery. And after a seemingly long wait of a year, the 60-year-old was again all geared up to step into the snow and score his goal.

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Dr. Hashim was recently recognized nationally by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He stated, “At age 60, I think he is now getting to play hockey; it’s something to be very proud of. And clearly, that is what makes him happy.” Bevins too shared his feelings after the surgery: “It’s completely transformed my future. I can play hockey again. I can take hikes; I can go for bike rides. I feel fantastic. I feel so good; I’m playing hockey!”


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Steve Bevins is nothing short of an inspiration. What are your thoughts on Bevins’s extraordinary journey? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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