Recently had a Successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
BROWNS MILLS, NJ – On December 8th, Laura Jordan of Bayonne celebrated her 101st birthday. For the lively, vivacious mom and grandmother, who has lived through the Great Depression, World War II, a man landing on the moon, and the widespread use of cars and electricity, it was cutting-edge cardiac surgery that gave her a new lease on life.
Last September 11th Mrs. Jordan had a valve replacement at Deborah Heart and Lung Center. Not only that, she was able to have minimally-invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), performed in Deborah’s state-of-the-art hybrid operating room. Her surgeons and interventional cardiologists delivered and deployed the prosthetic aortic valve through a catheter advanced into the femoral artery in the groin. She was up and about shortly thereafter, and went home the next day.
Mrs. Jordan is one of the oldest patients in the country to have a TAVR procedure.
“It was amazing,” said her son Frank Jordan.
Frank shared that mom had never had major health issues.
“For my mom’s whole life, my brother Stephen and my sister Lorraine were raised with natural, healthy food,” he said. “We had a wonderful neighborhood childhood in Bayonne. Mom insisted on no processed foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables. She never smoked and loved her vegetable garden – with no pesticides of course! and crocheting, and walking. She walked all the time.”
Frank said that even at 100 years old mom was still quite active.
“She walks back and forth to the Shop-Rite and the bank.”
One day on her walk Mrs. Jordan felt tightness in her chest and some dizziness.
Her children knew exactly where to bring her – Deborah Heart and Lung Center.
“We had some previous history with the hospital. I grew up with the family of a former Deborah President, so we knew the good work done there. In fact in 1991 when my dad needed a quadruple bypass we took him straight to Deborah. After that operation, mom and dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the cafeteria!”
But now it was mom’s turn. Her valve was shot. With a replacement valve, however, her cardiologist assured her she could go back to doing everything she loved.
Mrs. Jordan said it was an easy decision. “They said I needed this, so I said ‘yes’.”
Her expert team of specialists – interventionists Richard Kovach, MD, Kintur Sanghvi, MD, and surgeons Paul Burns, MD, and Ronald Ross, MD – prepped in the hybrid OR.
“Patients who were not previously eligible for valve replacement treatment, once they became symptomatic, their usual life expectancy was less than three years,” said Dr. Sanghvi. “But this treatment, TAVR, has evolved over the last 10-11 years and now we can treat formerly inoperable patients. They do very well and can go home very quickly.”
“With minimally invasive valve replacement, age is not a limitation,” added Dr. Kovach. “The catheter-based valve replacement overall puts little stress on the body. It is remarkable for this 100-year old lady to get a new lease on life. It is so satisfying to see that overnight a patient is back to a normal level of activity. With TAVR, we receive immediate feedback for renewed health.”
And although Mrs. Jordan did very well and was discharged the next day, her age was still surprising to the team at Deborah.
“The first time I learned about Mrs. Jordan, was during her evaluation process for a TAVR procedure,” said Structural Heart Coordinator Jennifer Joiner, APN. “When I noticed that she was 100 years old, I couldn’t believe it. Although TAVR has been historically reserved for older patients, it is extremely rare to see a 100-year-old walk through our door asking for a heart valve replacement. It was obvious she was going to be a special case.”
As for Mrs. Jordan? Her birthday plans might not have been as elaborate as her 100th when the Mayor of Bayonne read a proclamation for “Laura Jordan Day” and the guests partied away at the Robins Reef Yacht Club. But this birthday is just as sweet, as she continues her rounds walking to the supermarket and bank, and cooking her favorite meals for her family and friends.
“We are all so excited that Mrs. Jordan celebrated her 101st birthday,” added Joiner. “Happy Birthday Mrs. Jordan, with much love from the team here at Deborah Heart and Lung Center!”