Keith Jones considers himself one of the luckiest people in the world.
His story began 15 years ago, as a Pasadena police officer, when the city
of Pasadena provided the benefit of a full-body scan to police leadership.
The scan revealed Keith had an aortic aneurysm, which is a bulge in the
main artery that carries blood from the heart throughout the body. If
his aneurysm were to rupture, the result could be fatal.
Robbin Cohen, MD, performed the necessary and ultimately successful open-chest
surgery at Huntington Hospital. Keith was monitored over the next 15 years
because he would eventually need an aortic valve repair, too.
When that time came, Keith was referred to Gregory Giesler, MD, who told
him about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a less invasive
way to repair the aortic valve — and one that does not require open-chest
surgery. The innovative procedure is performed using a catheter inserted
in the upper leg or chest artery to deliver a replacement valve to the heart.
Sue Duquette, nurse practitioner, coordinated the great care Keith received
here — and made a lasting impression on him: He describes her as
the “heart and soul of the TAVR program.” Dr. Giesler and
Azhil (Alex) Durairaj, MD, medical director of cardiology, performed the
TAVR procedure. “I only spent one night in the hospital and was
released the next morning!” he says.
Keith is now living an active life again — including a recent outing
on which he hiked and ran a total of six miles with his daughter. He and
his wife recently picked up a new RV, and are looking forward to a fly-fishing
trip soon. “I get the chance to spend time with my grandkids now
that I’ve got my life back,” Keith says. “I’m
very thankful to everyone at Huntington Hospital who made this possible.”