After receiving four open-heart surgeries before graduating high school, David was concerned when he once again developed pulmonary stenosis and learned that he’d need a fifth operation to relieve the symptoms. Now a husband and father, he felt the stakes were much higher. He was overjoyed to learn that he was a candidate for the minimally invasive Melody TPV. In fact, being a professional musician, David felt like receiving a “Melody” valve was his answer. Watch the video to hear David share his full story.
“I was born with congenital heart disease,” says David. “I had aortic stenosis at the time, and I developed aortic insufficiency.” By the time David turned 17, he’d had four major open-heart surgeries.
“After his last open-heart surgery, when he was a senior in high school, he did well for a long period of time,” says David’s long-time cardiologist, Gregory Fleming, Director of the Pediatric Interventional Cath Lab at Duke University, “but he gradually developed symptoms again.”
David remembers feeling tired all the time and taking frequent naps. ”I didn’t have the strength to pick up my daughter or go up a flight of stairs,” he says.
Dr. Fleming explains that David’s symptoms were caused by dysfunction of the conduit between his right ventricle and his pulmonary artery. To fix this dysfunction would require another operation.
After the Melody valve, I felt 20 years younger.David
“This time, I was terrified,” says David. “I was really scared to go into another major open-heart surgery. I felt the stakes were higher. I had a daughter and I had a beautiful wife. I had a home, a job.”
“Anyone who goes through heart surgery that many times, like David did, that’s going to take its toll on you, both emotionally and physically,” says Dr. Fleming.
One day before the surgery, David was woken from a nap by a call from his cardiologist, who told David that he had good news. He had spoken with his team and identified a noninvasive option for David’s operation: the Melody transcatheter pulmonary valve.
“Instantly, I knew this was it,” says David. “I was so excited. It felt like it was a miracle.”
The procedure went so smoothly, David didn’t realize at first that it had happened at all. His first question to his wife after waking up from anesthesia was, “When are we going in?”
When his cardiologist came by the room, David asked him where the incision was. Dr. Fleming pointed to David’s leg and told him, “It only took one stitch.” David promised then and there that he was going to make a whole album dedicated to his Melody valve. And he did.
“[After Melody], David had an instantaneous improvement in his symptoms,” says Dr. Fleming. “That’s, honestly, typically what we see in these patients. In the time I’ve been an interventional cardiologist, I think this technology has provided the biggest impact on patients with congenital heart disease.”
“After the Melody valve, I felt 20 years younger,” David reflects. “Now that I have the Melody valve, melodies just pour out of me."
This story recounts the experience of one patient who received a Melody transcatheter pulmonary valve. Medtronic invited this person to share his story candidly. Caution: Experience, risks, outcomes, and results vary. Patient experience may not be comparable to that of David’s, depending in part upon the condition of the patient or with the techniques, facilities, or products used.
Physician experience, risks, patient outcomes and results may vary. Individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD) require lifelong management under the care of a CHD physician.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.