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New lease of life for 101-year-old heart patient

Published on 26/03/2023

Ruth Shire, who has had a new heart valve fitted at the age of 101, pictured with Dr Sagar Doshi (left), Ewa Lawton and Dr Adnan Nadir (right).
Ruth Shire, who has had a new heart valve fitted at the age of 101, pictured with Dr Sagar Doshi (left), Ewa Lawton and Dr Adnan Nadir (right).

At the age of 101, Ruth Shire is enjoying a new lease of life after having a new heart valve fitted, via a keyhole procedure.

Ruth, a retired registered nurse, first started having symptoms a year ago and was becoming increasingly breathless.

She was diagnosed with a narrowed heart valve, or aortic stenosis, by Dr Howard Marshall, Consultant Cardiologist, who referred her to the TAVI Team at QEHB, led by Dr Sagar Doshi.

Ruth is the oldest patient to undergo the procedure at UHB and is among the oldest people in the country to have it.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, or TAVI, is an alternative to open heart surgery. It is currently reserved for patients who are considered unsuitable or at high risk from open heart surgery.

As the procedure is minimally invasive, patients recover quickly and can usually be discharged to their own homes the day after the procedure.

Ruth came to QEHB to have the procedure, which is usually done via a puncture in an artery at the top of the leg, late on a Tuesday afternoon at the start of February.

She was discharged on the Thursday morning, fully mobile and independent.

Now back at home in Birmingham, Ruth said: “The procedure went ahead as planned without pain and I was looked after very well, with all the staff paying great attention to my comfort.

 “The staff did their utmost to support me in getting me out of bed and back to walking the same day as the procedure.

“I am most grateful to the NHS and Dr Doshi’s team for going ahead with the procedure, as I had great reservations as regards the consequences of stroke and other complications.

“It shows that this procedure can be done in elderly people quite safely - especially people like me with my 101 years!’’

Her daughter, Miriam Shire, said: “Since becoming a widow 18 years ago, my mother has held onto her independence with fierce determination.

“She still lives in her own house and runs a very active life. At the age of 101, she had never been ill and never been prescribed medicines. 

“Her lovely GP recommended a consultant for the stenosis. She was referred to Dr Doshi, who explained very clearly the TAVI procedure, the risks involved and what the outcome would be.”

“He was happy to have both me and my husband join Mum at the consultation, so that we fully understood all the medical terminology and could discuss it as a family afterwards.

“We were surprised, and a little incredulous, when he told us at the initial consultation just before Christmas that Mum could expect to have her new valve by the end of March. We were even more delighted when the appointment came through for the beginning of February.

“It means so much to know that she (and we) will have some bonus quality time. We are grateful to the NHS for giving us this opportunity to enjoy her for longer.

“We cannot thank Dr Doshi, Ewa Lawton, the specialist TAVI nurse, his brilliant team and all the staff at the QEHB for their care and kindness.”

TAVI Director, Dr Sagar Doshi, who has been performing TAVI at QEHB since 2008, said: “We’re delighted with the outcome for Mrs Shire and very pleased that we have helped maintain her well-being and independence which is clearly very important to her and her family.”

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