Breathing Easy: TAVR Gets Columbus Man Back to Active in Days

Headshot of Robert Parker, TAVR Patient

Bob Parker is busy. The 74-year-old still works – doing inventory and pricing for a fertilizer company in Columbus, Nebraska. When he’s not there, he’s fishing, golfing or going on junk jaunts with his wife.

Within the last couple of years, though, those hobbies became tiresome.

“If I was doing any kind of activity, I would have to stop and catch my breath,” Parker said. “I thought at one time, I was having a heart attack.”

Fortunately he wasn’t, but after seeing an interventional cardiologist at CHI Health, Parker learned he was living with a life-threatening disease, aortic valve stenosis, and would need a valve replacement.

“That’s when they told me my aortic valve was closing up,” Parker said.

Luckily for Parker, time was on his side. The FDA had recently approved catheter-based valve replacements for low-risk, generally healthy patients like Parker. This meant he could avoid open heart surgery and undergo the minimally invasive procedure.

The CHI Health heart team successfully replaced Parker’s aortic valve in December 2019. Within hours, Parker noticed a change.

”I was surprised a little bit,” Parker said. “I did feel some difference right off. It just felt better. My breathing was better and I felt overall relief.”

Doctors kept Parker for observation overnight. Within six days, he was back on the job.

He continues cardiac rehab and enjoys biking and walking with ease – welcome changes that came with his new aortic valve.

“The CHI Health heart team does a great job, that’s for certain,” Parker said. “I would recommend them to anyone. If you’re going to have heart procedures done, go check with them.”