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Sue and Simon Redwood

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Last month we were delighted to attend a TAVI day at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. The event featured TAVI experts working to raise awareness of this innovative, life-saving technology, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first UK implant this month.

TAVI, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, is a treatment option that is used to help restore blood flow to a heart valve that has been damaged due to aortic stenosis (AS). AS is a condition where the heart valve that allows blood to flow through the artery has severely narrowed and no longer opens properly. TAVI involves the insertion of a new artificial heart valve, made up of a metal frame (stent) and the outer lining (pericardium) of a cow’s heart, inside the old valve using a balloon catheter to help the blood flow through again. TAVI does not involve having open heart surgery and can be performed using a thin tube (known as a catheter) which is put into the body through a small cut in either your groin or your chest.

Paula Ghandour, Staff Nurse at St Thomas’ and TAVI clinician helped to organise the event and kindly invited us along to spread the word about our work and to provide a patient voice. Helping us with this were our patient ambassadors Pat Khan and Sue Jardine.

For Sue, this was a particularly special day as it provided her with the chance to meet and shake hands with the interventional cardiologist who performed her life-changing TAVI treatment, Professor Simon Redwood, Lead interventional consultant and President, British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS) at St Thomas’.

"It was lovely meeting Sue again after her treatment and seeing how well she looks,” said Simon. “It's also great to hear that she's enjoying life so much and supporting other patients through the work she does with Heart Valve Voice”

In addition to this wonderful opportunity for Sue, TAVI Day was also an excellent chance for HVV to talk with key heart valve disease experts and staff about how we can raise awareness and improve treatment for patients. Wil Woan, HVV CEO was glad to have the chance to discuss patient pathways with key St Thomas’ staff and fill them in on the work we are doing to help improve patient outcomes.

"Heart Valve Disease is a such a treatable disease and through Sue and Pat and our other patient ambassadors we see how much our patients can go on to achieve,” said Wil.

In addition to getting to meet and speak with cardiologists and clinicians we also took the opportunity to spread the word about HVV to the general public. With our videographer on hand, we interviewed passers by to see what they knew about heart valve disease and to help to teach them about the disease and symptoms.

What a great day, we are looking forward to more exciting heart valve events in the future. Thanks for inviting us Paula!