More patients are reaping the benefits of a life-saving heart procedure, thanks to a new catheter lab opened at the world-renowned Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC).
Over 600 patients, including a surprise brother and sister duo, have benefitted from the procedure, known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
The opening of a new catheter (cath) lab has doubled the capacity of the CTC, part of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, to carry out the procedure, and the time patients wait for the treatment has halved.
Among the patients who have benefitted are Frederick Allsop and his sister Jeanette Pepper from south Essex, who had the procedure on the same day. Doctors were surprised to find out they were siblings only after the surgeries had finished.
Frederick, a retired surveyor, said: “The doctors and staff were brilliant. The surgery wasn’t until the end of August, but I got lucky and had it in early July. It was a total surprise because we didn’t know my sister will be there.”
Jeanette, a retired accounts professional, said: “I can only say, it was a miracle. People see me and can’t believe how well I am now compared to where I was before.
“The CTC staff were absolutely amazing. They explained everything to me and were very helpful and kind.”
TAVI involves replacing a diseased valve in the heart by inserting a new valve via a blood vessel in the leg.
Dr Chris Cook, Consultant Cardiologist at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new cath lab has transformed our service, allowing us to provide more life-saving TAVI procedures much faster. It was a pleasant surprise treating two members of the same family as back-to-back cases, and our entire team wish Frederick and Jeanette the best now that their heart condition has been cured.”
The TAVI service is led by Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Dr. Rohan Jagathesan, and Dr. Christopher Cook and supported by the TAVI specialist nurses Sheila Smith, Iveta Crawford, Helen Hounsell, and Emma Bishop.