POSTPONED: 90-Year-Old Mother of Eight and Former Math Professor Gets New Lease on Life with 100th TAVR Procedure at LVHN
WHAT: Although a bit confused and groggy from the anesthetic after her aortic valve replacement, 90-year-old Mary Longo of Hazleton, Pa., was still able to recite the quadratic formula to prove she was okay. “I know what that is,” chided Longo in her heavy Boston accent. “It’s ax2 + bx + c. Everyone knows that!”
Retired at the age of 75 as a math professor, first at Penn State Hazleton, then at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa, Longo has long suffered from aortic valve stenosis, a disease that caused her to have shortness of breath, chest pains and dizzy spells. The fix, a heart valve replacement was deemed too risky using more invasive surgeries. But Longo was the perfect candidate for a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR. So her TAVR team, comprised of heart and lung surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and support personnel inserted a new heart valve. She was back on her feet in a matter of days. As it happened, Longo, a self-professed spit-fire, also was the 100th patient at Lehigh Valley Health Network to receive a new valve using TAVR.
Before Longo goes back to tutoring and driving back and forth to daily mass, LVHN will celebrate this major milestone by holding a party* in her honor at Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest on a date TBD. Her care givers, children grandchildren and great grandchildren have all been invited to help us celebrate.
*A special cake and other healthier fare will be provided.
Reporters interested in covering the event should contact the Lehigh Valley Health Network public affairs office. Interviews will health care professionals and Longo and her family also can be arranged.
WHERE: Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest, President’s Room, Allentown, Pa.
BACKGROUND: Since 2009, Lehigh Valley Health Network has been using the TAVR surgery to help patients just like Longo. During the TAVR procedure, an aortic valve is replaced using a catheter, like those used to put a stent in a clogged blood vessel. The procedure does not require that the patient’s chest be opened. The valve is inserted into a patient through a tiny incision in the groin or chest by our team of expert cardiologists and heart surgeons.
# # #
Aortic Valve Replacement Options: Pig, Cow or Mechanical?
Raymond Singer, MD, describes the variety of aortic valve options most widely used for aortic valve replacement surgery. He explains the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical, cow and pig (porcine) valves. For more information, go to LVHN.org/TAVR.
Hamburg resident Judy Levermore, 62, has a special reason to celebrate heart month this February. Judy underwent a promising, new heart procedure on Dec. 19 at Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest to halt her long-time, disabling atrial fibrillation, a condition that affects some 3 million Americans. LVH is the only hospital in the region providing what is called “convergent” or “hybrid” ablation. Now Judy’s eager to share her story of suffering and frustration replaced by renewed optimism in a treatment that returned her heart to its healthy rhythm.
Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
It’s colorless, odorless and tasteless, and it can come from wood stoves, propane heaters and various other fuels. It’s carbon monoxide, and it causes more than 20,000 people to seek emergency care nationwide every year.
Carbon monoxide is produced when carbon-containing fuels are burned. Sources include:
- Diesel fuel
- Natural gas
- Fuel oil
Lehigh Valley Health Network emergency medicine physician John Weary, DO, offers tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. If you would like to interview Dr. Weary, please call the media relations team at 484-884-0879, or send us an email.
Don’t Drive Drowsy: Get Tips to Stay Alert on the Road
If you’re struggling to stay awake while you’re behind the wheel, you are just as dangerous as a drunk driver. That’s the message from experts including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which says drowsy driving results in tens of thousands of motor-vehicle crashes and injuries every year.
When you’re driving while sleepy, your reaction time, vigilance, attention and ability to process information suffer, the NHTSA says.
“Thanksgiving is the heaviest travel time of the year, and many people will be on the roads who may be drowsy during their trip,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) trauma prevention coordinator Bill McQuilken. “People need to watch for signs of fatigue. You know when you’re tired or fatigued. You start to fall asleep behind the wheel. You start traveling into the next lane or weaving on the highway.”
For more informaiton, vist the LVHN news blog.