Natalie’s Heart Valve Disease Story (US)

Published On: 14 June 2018Categories: Aortic Valve, Patient Stories, TAVI

On a recent trip to the US to support the American Heart Valve Voice, Heart Valve Voice UK CEO Wil Woan wanted to meet with a local patient to find out if their experiences differ from those of our UK patients. So he met with Natalie, 80, from Washington DC who found herself slowing down in 2017 while on a trip to Israel. She struggled to keep up and was frustrated that she was missing out on enjoying her time with her family. She later found out that her struggles weren’t a result of her age but that she had congenital heart valve disease and would require treatment.

Natalie has always been full of life and energy, however in 2017 her health started to go downhill. It began with her friends noticing a change in her colour, she was starting to look paler than usual and she seemed to be drained a lot of the time. Then Natalie embarked on a trip to Israel to visit her family, it was on this trip that Natalie noticed a big change in her level of fitness. She found she was sitting on the sidelines watching her family doing things rather being able to join in and do them herself.

When she returned home she sought out medical advice and was diagnosed with congenital heart valve disease, meaning she had been born with it. The disease had slowly progressed throughout her life and she was now reaching the point that something needed to be done. She received an echo, was placed on surveillance and discussed her treatment options with the surgeons.

Her disease progressed quickly from there and it got to the point where Natalie could no longer walk the pathway to her house and had to drive up it instead. Then a great thing happened, Natalie was put forward for a TAVI trial and was selected to receive the treatment. This was the first she had heard of the minimally invasive treatment but was all for if it meant she was going to feel better sooner.

Natalie received her TAVI on 23 October 2017 and it was a success. So much so, that a few weeks later, Natalie walked 11,000 steps across a safari park and felt great! Now she is very excited about the future and has so many things to look forward to like her granddaughter’s wedding, spending time with her grandchildren, her charity work, and keeping up with her fitness routine – she’s a big fan of water aerobics!

“I am so grateful that my clinicians put me forward for the TAVI trial. I can’t imagine having to carry on the way I was feeling for much longer,” said Natalie. “Trials like the TAVI trail and research into new innovative treatments are so important for patients. That’s why I am so passionate about my charity work and supporting trials and research so others can have the opportunities that I have had. “

What an amazing recovery Natalie, we wish you the best in all of your endeavours!

To learn more about Heart Valve Voice US visit their website here.

Katharine Greenland: My Mitral Repair Story
Mark Blatchly’s Heart Valve Disease Story

Latest Patient Stories