TAVR patient stories

Feeling a little nervous about you or your loved one’s Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure? Check out the following stories from around the U.S. about patients of all ages, lifestyles, and previous health conditions. (Results will vary by patient, so be sure to speak with your doctor about your specific condition and recovery plan)

91-Year-Old Celebrates Successful Heart Surgery by Racing His Doc (via Runner’s World)

Cardiac surgeon Dr. Michael Mack decided the best way to get his patient and avid runner, Tony Taddeo, back at it after his heart surgery was to challenge him to a 5K.

On Tuesday, Taddeo, 91, accepted—and completed—the challenge his doctor gave him nearly a year ago. The nonagenarian was happy to be back on the road and referred to it as “the event of my life.”

Taddeo was thankful that Mack pushed for the minimally invasive procedure of TAVR over the typical open-heart surgery solution, which would have been a riskier option with an extended recovery period compared to TAVR bringing him home the day after surgery (and allowing him to run two weeks later).

Read about Tony’s next big goal here!

Veteran, 95, receives new heart valve 72 years after flying in D-Day invasion (via KGW8)

A 95-year-old patient is the 500th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) patient at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. The procedure to replace a heart valve is minimally invasive, meaning a quicker recovery.

“They told me I could die any minute,” Harlie Peterson said. “I’d been feeling OK, even still playing tennis.”

Doctors determined Peterson had a narrowed aortic valve.

“His heart was struggling to get blood to his body through the small hole,” said Dr. Ethan Korngold at the Providence Valve Center.

Peterson received his new valve on June 6 this year, 72 years to the day he flew a Navy patrol plane during the D-Day invasion. See how Harlie’s procedure turned out here.

At 102, Mich. man becomes one of the oldest to undergo heart procedure (via Fox 2 Detroit)

The 102-year-old William Hagan has accomplished a lot in his years. He says wine, women and song are his secrets to a long life.

Even now, though, he’s adding to his list of accomplishments. He’s one of the oldest patients to undergo a major heart procedure. Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital say his active lifestyle is what helped him become one of the oldest patients in Michigan to receive a new heart valve through a catheter.

Learn more about his story here.

Makanda woman benefits from new valve replacement procedure (via Southern Illinoisan

Regina Einig of Makanda knew she needed back surgery. As someone who has experienced numerous surgeries during her lifetime, Einig also knew her doctor would run routine tests before surgery to make sure she was a good candidate and could withstand the stress. There was one thing neither Einig or her doctor knew: Einig had aortic stenosis.

“I was getting ready to have back surgery and they called me and said I had to have heart surgery first,” Einig said.

When she asked what was wrong, she was told she had severe aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that restricts blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may affect the pressure in the left atrium. Some people, like Einig, have the disease but do not have any symptoms.

“I knew what stenosis was and what my aorta was, so I was pretty scared,” Einig said. Check out the rest of the story here.

Genoa woman shares story about aortic stenosis awareness (via Daily Chronicle)

Beverly Gorham, 79, of Genoa has worked hard to get healthy and has lost more than 100 pounds since 2013, but she started to notice in the past year that her chest would get a little tight when she’d work out. Then she started to get more winded walking around her neighborhood – she’d walk 3 miles a day – and would have to catch her breath at the corner of her block.

Gorham said she could sense something was up. She said everything came to a head when she planned a 60th anniversary trip, a gift her children gave her, to Mexico City with her husband.

“And yet, in the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘Do I have the energy?’” Gorham said. Read on for the rest of Beverly’s story here.

TAVR Offers Less-Invasive Alternative for Open-Heart Surgery (via Hour Detroit)

At 32 years old, Andy Smith needed a new heart valve — again.

The junior-high English teacher first had his valve replaced when he was just 23 years old. It’s very rare for someone so young to require a new heart valve, but Smith’s had been badly damaged by streptococcus bacteria. He underwent open-heart surgery, the standard method for replacing heart valves, at the Cleveland Clinic, and was told the valve would last 10 years, which is typical.

By 2015, the valve was clearly wearing out. “I started to feel fatigued after very limited activity; it was becoming a problem,” Smith says.

His local cardiologist told him about a less-invasive procedure, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is designed to replace valves in people with aortic stenosis, which is calcification of the aortic valve. Find out the outcome here!

Aortic valve procedure alternative for elderly (via Trib Live) 

After a second fainting episode in a month, William Tatrai and his doctor knew medicine alone wouldn’t treat his heart condition.

“I was in the bathroom and, the next thing I knew, I was on the floor,” Tatrai, of Munhall, recalled. “A month later, in late November, I was in my bedroom putting on a pair of socks and I fainted again, falling right off my chair. My doctor put me right in the hospital.”

“My doctor told me about this fairly new procedure that he thought might help,” said Tatrai, a retired U.S. Steel worker. “I knew I didn’t want to risk open heart surgery.”

Learn what happened by clicking here.

The heart problem this stroke, bypass surgery survivor wasn’t expecting (via Medical Xpress)

 When Tom Broussard came out of quadruple heart bypass surgery, the then-59-year-old was just glad to have avoided a heart attack. So he didn’t give much thought to the heart valve that surgeons replaced at the same time.

“I figured everything was fixed and didn’t need to worry about it,” Broussard said of the 2011 procedures.

A few months later, Broussard had a stroke caused by a clot that doctors suspect developed after his surgery. He spent the next 11 months relearning how to read, write and speak. He worked through other health challenges, including renal failure that caused him to lose a kidney.

Read more about Tom’s story here.

And if you are concerned about the risk of stroke during TAVR, be sure to ask your doctor about the possibility of embolic protection. Check out our resources for questions to ask your Heart Team.

This educational blog was provided by Boston Scientific.     SH-610005-AA