A Life Improving Procedure Adds Years to Day Herman’s Life

A minimally invasive, life improving procedure.

Day Herman learned she had a heart murmur during a routine physical exam conducted about two years ago by Dr. David Chesney, her Southcoast Health primary care physician.

A follow-up visit with Dr. Albert Lin, a Southcoast cardiologist, revealed that Day had a calcified heart valve, which required monitoring with an echocardiogram every six months.

“Every time I went, the valve was a little worse,” she says. “Then I started to get frightened.”

Nebulizer treatments no longer eased the shortness of breath that she blamed on her asthma and bronchitis. Fatigue kept her from doing housework. And moving furniture to rearrange her house, something she loves to do, was out of the question.

Dr. Lin identified the breathing difficulties and fatigue as symptoms of her valve problem and referred her to Dr. Adam Saltzman, an interventional cardiologist at Charlton Memorial.

Dr. Saltzman recommended a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, a minimally invasive surgery that uses a catheter to implant a new valve in the heart.

“He told me that without the TAVR, I’d have two years to live,” Day says. “That was a wake-up call.”

TAVR can be a life-saving and life-improving procedure for cardiac patients whose age or health could make them poor candidates for open-heart surgery. At 74, Day’s age and overall health qualified her, and she underwent surgery on December 14, 2022.

Dr. Saltzman performed the procedure in less than 30 minutes and just a day after her life-saving surgery, she returned home. After two weeks of rest and recovery, Dr. Saltzman cleared her for normal activity.

Pretty soon, Day was rearranging furniture again, turning her dining room into her living room and her living room into her dining room. “Dr. Saltzman told me I had the heart of a 20-year-old,” she says. “I recommend the TAVR to anyone who needs it.”

A mother of two with an 18-year-old granddaughter, Day credits Southcoast Health with saving her life, and the kind, caring staff at Charlton Memorial with making the process as easy as possible.

“They added 15 to 20 years to my life,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll attend my granddaughter’s wedding one day.”

Visit Top Cardiologist Southeast MA | Southcoast Health for more information on the Heart & Vascular at Charlton Memorial Hospital.