500th TAVR Patient Values His Heart Valve and Care from Baptist
When walking short distances or climbing stairs left Harvey Radcliff short of breath, fatigued, dizzy and experiencing chest pains in August 2021, he knew something was wrong. Doing even the smallest things like walking to the shed in his backyard would result in Harvey feeling winded. After experiencing these issues, he and his wife of 45 years, Barbara, went to Baptist Urgent Care.
The team at Baptist Urgent Care assessed Harvey. Then he was referred for emergent care at the Baptist Hospital Emergency Room.
“The hospital staff ran several tests on me,” Harvey said. “Results showed that my heart muscle was weak and only pumping at about 30%. That explained why I was getting so tired.”
At age 66, Harvey had been through heart concerns in the past. Twelve years prior, he had quadruple bypass surgery. That surgery was a success and helped improve his heart’s condition, but as the Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute team explained to Harvey, even parts of the heart can wear out over time.
“My heart valve was wearing out, much like the parts on a car will after a while,” Harvey said. Specialists at Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute determined that Harvey was a candidate for the TAVR procedure.
TAVR, or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, is a revolutionary treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for traditional open-heart surgery. Aortic stenosis is a thickening of the valve opening that restricts normal blood flow.
After spending time with the BHVI care team and staff at Baptist Hospital, Harvey said he could not imagine being in a better place to receive heart care and to recover.
“Everybody at BHVI and Baptist were outstanding,” Harvey said. “They treated me really well. I can’t remember all the names of all my caregivers – all the wonderful nurses, doctors and more – but everyone I encountered was courteous, top-notch and made me feel cared for and valued.”
Harvey’s TAVR procedure took place just three months after his ER visit. He is amazed at how quick the treatment and recovery time were for him.
“I was in the hospital for just one full day,” Harvey said. “The TAVR procedure only took about one and a half to two hours. My recovery took the rest of that day. Then I was discharged the following day. I took it easy for a few days, but within a week, I was back to doing all of my normal, routine activities.”
Harvey has had several follow-up appointments since his TAVR and learned that he is the 500th person at Baptist Health Care to have the specialized, minimally-invasive procedure. He recommends the procedure with BHVI to anyone who needs it.
“I would definitely recommend the TAVR to any candidate for it, and I’d recommend having it at Baptist,” Harvey said. “Since my TAVR, I now have up to 63% of my heart valve usage back. Usually with this kind of treatment, physicians can only predict that it may go back up to 65%. So, I’m at the top of this success curve, and I feel great.”
Baptist was the first health care organization in Northwest Florida to introduce TAVR procedures as an option in the community.