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Skeet Ulrich with a scar from a childhood sternotomy operation

Yes, I admit, I googled “skeet ulrich shirtless” last night. But no, it was not to satisfy some latent homoerotic desires for the star of Jericho. It started as a completely innocent conversation about movies and television and just progressed from there.

Somewhere along the way I read that Skeet Ulrich had open heart surgery when he was young, which means he had a sternotomy, which means he has the same scar on his chest that I do. Unfortunately his seems to have healed much nicer than mine did, which isn’t a surprise since I know mine didn’t do as well as the doctors expected. You can barely see it in that photo but its the only one I could find. And no, I will not post a photo of mine to compare.

I know plenty of seniors have sternotomies, but finding another young person who has had one is a bit like Amalthea finding a second unicorn. The nurses always said it was refreshing to give needles to someone with firm flesh on their arm. I saw someone in the university gym locker room last semester with the same distinctive scar and I had a strong instinct to say hi, but it probably would have been weird so I said nothing.

It’s definitely a small detail of a person’s life, that they have a scar on their chest. It is at most a story to tell, but one that is worn forever like a tattoo whether its an interesting one or not. But as inconsequential as that detail may be, it’s still nice to know that I’m not the only one who has it.

Random FAQ Comments (18)

18 Responses to “Skeet Ulrich and me”

  1. Ani Whalen says:

    Please email me. I’m 29 and been through more than a couple open-hearts. I don’t know many, but there are some out there. It would be good to communicate.

    Ani
    http://www.myspace.com/kneadsomebody

    p.s. If it’s not a good time, I was thankful for your blog.

  2. Marie M says:

    You’re not alone ! i have one too ! It’s very very sexy i think! On Skeet too of course….
    I’m very happy that you post this photo ! I will use it on my own blog …thanks.

  3. Paul L. says:

    Im a 19 year old who’s getting a sternotomy next week for hodgekins…interesting outlook…considering ive been a chubby kid and a bit overweight w/ stretch marks i guess ill get used to it, i hardly consider the stretch marks now but am more self-conscious over the fact i dont have rock hard abs then what i do have but what makes us unique makes us better…thanks!

  4. koby says:

    I was looking up sternotomy xrays and came across your entry above. My daughter had to have open heart surgery when she was 9 years old. Her scar was perfect for about a month and then she started to keloid. She was left with a scar that looked like the biggest worm you have ever seen. One year later she had steroid injections into the scar. It looks much better. It is now flat. It is still red but still it is an improvement. People say how lucky she is to be alive and of course that is true but I also know how hard it is to be a girl. She will be a teenager in a few years and it is difficult enough just being a teenager let alone one with a big scar down the center of your chest.
    I just wanted you to know you are not the only one out there and if you are anything like my daughter you are more beautiful and more magical than any unicorn could ever be.

  5. Amber says:

    I turned 25 years old just after leaveing the ICU following my median sernotomy. I had a large tumor removed from my chest. At first I was super worried about have a scar right down the middle of my cleavege. But now that is is over I could care less. I am glad I am still walking about the earth. I kinda like it. It makes me unique and I have a super cool story that goes behind it. Usually people that have had one or knows somebody that has stops to ask me about my scar. It is a great way to connect to others. One time I was walking out ‘of the mall and a man that was walking in pointed at my chest and said, “Aww, did somebody break your heart?” haha! I did not even tell him that it was not heart surgery!

  6. marissa says:

    I HAVE ONE TOO! i’m 28. i’ve had two open-heart surgeries. one when i was six and one just last may. i’ve been looking all over trying to find someone else. i like to swap stories. email me http://www.myspace.com/healing_heart_hope

  7. AP says:

    Hey, im another girl who bares a scar between my cleavage after open heart surgery for correction of a hole in the heart when aged 4.

    As everyone says, we should be grateful that we live in times where our hearts could be corrected and still live to tell the tale.

    However, I’m not gonna lie to you, it does hurt knowing that you can’t wear a bikini or low-cut top without enduring lots of stares and double-takes. But I guess it is an interesting conversation point, and moreover an important and special part of us. Nice to know there are others like us around…as it’s hard to not feel different and unattractive at times. But I guess Skeet Ulrik shows that you can have a chest scar n still be sexy!

  8. dea says:

    Hey I have a scar too is from last September. I kind of hate it is a little bit red I mean more pink. But know im trying to stay in the sun as much as I can cause I know i hpe is gonna get whiter I have another scar from 2007 which it get really white after the summer.Im just a little bit scared that guys will not really like it and im scared to go in bikini,but what to do. This is me

  9. ScarDude says:

    Hey. I’m 23 and had a sternotomy about a month ago to remove a benign tumor from within my chest. I was so worried about the tumor being malignant at the time that I never even considered what my life would be like with this scar. Knowing that there are so many young people out there in the same boat puts me at ease. Thanks for sharing guys.

  10. ZippyTheWerewolf says:

    My brother had serious and life threatening (not to mention experimental) surgery as an infant. Needless to say, he not only has a stomach full of scars but also claw fingernails on several fingers (due to blood clots which resulted in clubbing of the fingers).

    Fast forward 30 plus years and my date (now husband) and I went to my brother’s house for dinner. I began talking about the scars on my date’s stomach and arms (due to being thrown from a vehicle and dragged under the car about 50 feet) and how he was embarrassed to bare his chest because of seams and scars all over his chest and back. So my brother removed his shirt and proudly displayed his quilting of scars, at which point my date reciprocated in kind.

    My brother tells people curious beach people that he jumped on a grenade and saved his platoon.

    My husband mows the lawn shirtless and just doesn’t care who sees his scars.

  11. Coll says:

    I do not know anyone that has had a sternotomy. I applaud all of you for for your maturity and understanding that no one is without imperfection. We all have our scars. You are all beautiful with yours.

  12. Skeet says:

    Get your scar out! Go on, nothing to be ashamed of!

  13. trade4citylights says:

    My scar came at four after surgery to repair two holes in my heart. I have three smaller ones below it marching across my lower chest from a drainage tube. Since then, the scar tissue has caused some delays in the heart rhythms that now have to be monitored every few months with a holter. When I came home from the hospital twenty years ago and was ashamed of the scars, my grandfather lifted his shirt to show me the scar from his kidney removal. He said we were scar buddies. Now, at 25, I wouldn’t change any of it. My scar is part of who I am.

  14. Erin Doyle says:

    I don’t have this condition but, I had open heart surgery October of 2009 for an aortic disscetion at age 37. I have a diacron graft in the top of the aorta and on medication for my lower tear. My scar is a little longer than Skeet’s but, I wear it proudly in low cut blouses and dresses all the time now. It saved my life, I call it my victory scar! Thank you all for sharing your stories. Stay strong!

  15. Catt says:

    I am 21 and just had an open heart surgery a few weeks ago. I had a congenital heart defect. There is still a bump on my sternum where my incision begins. It’s still a shock to me, every time I look into the mirror there is this long red line between my breasts, and that bump everyone promises me will go away….

  16. Caroline says:

    I had surdery when I was 12, so 26 years ago now. For those that mention the bump, yes it goes and the scar does fade but it’ll take time. When first I looked at my scar I was put off but when I got to about 14/15 I thought what the heck, it’s a badge of sorts. My ability to survive, I’m alive and have two beautiful children because of my scar. I even wear low cut tops and my scar is very visible, to date nobody has ever said anything bad.

    I need more surgery, again through the chest, not best pleased but a small price to pay for my life and to be able to see my kids grow, don’t shy from it be proud, you’re a survivor and what’s a little scar amounst friends :-)

  17. Kelly says:

    I am sitting here on my couch, out of work recovering from my open heart surgery that I had a little over a month ago. I needed the surgery to repair my leaky mitral valve. I was always a gal who displayed her cleavage proudly, as it is my best and favorite feature and I intend to do so as I re-enter the world of the living (not to mention it is uncomfortable to wear tee shirts and such as they rub on the incision). I am proud of my scar as it saved my life and proves that I faced my worst fears and survived!!!

  18. renyce says:

    I had a hole in my heart when I was born and had heart surgery when I was too, I don’t know anybody who’s been through anything remotely similar and i hate it. i;m 16 and am so self conscious of it I want to have it removed or covered up but don’t know how :/

    Yes, I am a teenage girl and self conscious enough already and it does really get to me, thanks for your blog post, if anyone wants to talk to me feel free, it would be nice to talk to someone anyway that ACTUALLY knows what i’m going through rather than people who ‘can imagine’ :)

    ivygold@live.co.uk

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