CEO, Heart Valve Voice
Sue, from Kent, was diagnosed with aortic stenosis in 2013. After a successful TAVI procedure she is now back to enjoying time with her grandchildren and gardening in her community.
One evening in 2013, Sue and her husband went out for a walk. She became so breathless that she felt it was too much to go on walking.
Realising this wasn’t normal she visited a heart specialist who, after conducting an echocardiogram and further investigations said that she would need her aortic valve replaced. Sue points out “I had already had open heart surgery several years earlier, so the doctors were reluctant to perform another open-heart operation.
I was told of an alternative, minimally invasive treatment called TAVI.
Sue had the procedure at the London Bridge Hospital: “I was well enough to leave hospital within two days,” she recalls. “My recovery was just unbelievable; I felt so well so quickly. Every day I noticed I could breathe a bit more easily.
“I am a busy grandmother to six children so I was very grateful to be back to normal, playing football with them and enjoying this new lease of life.”
Mike Higginbottom, Chair of the Heart Valve Voice Patient Action Group, said ‘It’s great that Sue recognised her symptoms were not just the signs of ageing and did something about it.
Heart valve disease is treatable if diagnosed early.
“At Heart Valve Voice we’re campaigning for the regular use of the stethoscope, equal access to imaging technologies and the best treatment for all patients.”