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'Easy' Heart-Valve Fix Takes Jacksonville Man From Shortness Of Breath Back To 'Normal Life'

Ascension St. Vincent's cardiologist Samer Garas (left) reunites with patient Ted Jacksonv, who was diagnosed with heart valve disease in 2018.
Ascension St. Vincent's
Ascension St. Vincent's cardiologist Samer Garas (left) reunites with patient Ted Jacksonv, who was diagnosed with heart valve disease in 2018.

Ted Jackson and his wife regularly walked at least 5 miles a day.

Then in August 2018 he found himself unable to walk even a short distance without having to catch his breath.

Assuming there was a problem with his respiratory system, he went to see a pulmonologist who did a battery of tests and ultimately referred him to a cardiologist. When he was told he had heart-valve disease, Jackson made another assumption — that he would need open-heart surgery and a long recovery was in the offing.

Again he was wrong.

Three months after that initial shortness of breath, Jackson underwent a minimally invasive procedure for heart-valve disease patients called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR. As soon as he woke up, he felt dramatic improvement, particularly in his hands and feet that had been swollen. He went home the next day.

"I could feel my hands and feet oxygenating again. They hadn't been getting enough oxygen," he said. "I was amazed that they had such a thing, that it works so well, so easy.

"I basically resumed a normal life," Jackson, now 81, said.

Read the full story at Jacksonville.com.