My name is John Edens and I live in Laurinburg, North Carolina. My story starts in 2004, just before I had heart by-pass surgery; that is when Dr. James Zidar became my Cardiologist.
Immediately following that surgery Dr. Zidar started monitoring an old heart murmur which was being caused by a deteriorating aorta valve. This condition didn’t create any noticeable problems until early 2011. Over the next year it gradually got worse. When at rest, everything seemed good, but when walking across my back yard, exercising or doing anything that put stress on my body, I would have chest pains and shortness of breath.
At my scheduled appointment with Dr. Zidar in May of 2012, he told me that it was time to make a decision on replacement of my aorta valve. At that time he told me about the new TAVR procedure that Rex had been approved to perform on patients who were high risk. I immediately agreed that it was what I wanted to have done. Dr. Zidar sent me to see Dr. Landvater, Head Surgeon of the Rex TAVR team who agreed to the surgery if I qualified after having other tests performed. The month of June was spent traveling to Rex to have these tests done. All went well until the last test which showed a deposit of plaque in a critical place.
To my disappointment I did not qualify for the normal TAVR procedure of sending a stent like aorta valve through the femoral artery up into the aorta and when opened it takes over the function of the old aorta valve. Dr. Landvater and his TAVR team of doctors which includes Dr. Zidar didn’t give up and said there were other options they wanted to consider. In August Dr. Landvater explained a new variation of the TAVR procedure which could be used, but it would require some surgery on my chest so they could make a direct entry into my aorta with the TAVR instruments to properly position the new valve.
On September 5, 2012 the surgery was done and all went well. I remained in Rex Hospital for 8 days before going home to start my recovery. To the amazement of many, only 30 days after the surgery, I was on the way to Boston, MA, by automobile, to attend my oldest granddaughter’s wedding. At the wedding reception, I danced with the Bride. As an 86 year old granddad recovering from surgery, I must admit that this trip was tiring, but it was worth it to me and the family to be there for this important event. Without the TAVR procedure, I don’t think it was anyway that I could have attended this wedding.
All members of the TAVR team and all the personnel at Rex that I came in contact with were very nice and professional. I could not have asked for better treatment. As a result of my surgery, I feel that I have been given a new lease on a good quality of life. I was blessed by being at the right place at the right time. My many thanks go to Rex for having great doctors and medical staff. I highly recommend the Rex TAVR procedure.
It has been only four months since my surgery and I feel great and I can do anything I need to do without pain or shortness of breath. I go to cardiac rehab three times a week where I walk on the treadmill and ride the bicycle without any problems. I have also resumed my small accounting practice. I am now looking forward to taking more trips, do genealogical research and have fun with the family.