Francis' Story: It Was Like They Put a New Life in Me
In his late 60s, Francis was finding it harder to breathe at the least exertion because of lung problems and a heart murmur. Then during a sleep-study class, he suffered a heart attack, and was diagnosed with aortic stenosis. Deemed too frail to undergo open-heart surgery, and facing spending his final days on a ventilator, he followed the recommendation of his doctors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock to undergo a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a procedure that the FDA recently approved for patients too frail to undergo open-heart surgery.
Soon after the procedure, D-H cardiologist John Robb, MD, recalls, the now-72-year-old Francis was relying on one-quarter the oxygen he'd been using.
"I felt like 102 before," Francis says. "Now I feel like 52."