Michael’s Story– A Story of Hope

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Dear St. Elizabeth,

I’m writing to thank you and the staff of your Heart & Vascular Institute for giving me my life back. I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis a few years ago and learned that this meant my heart’s aortic valve was not allowing proper blood flow. What this meant to me in the course of day to day life was that my stamina was on a downward trajectory and the things I liked to do were slowly becoming unavailable to me.

I’m an outdoors kind of person that, having been raised on a working farm, learned to appreciate the outdoors at an early age. I fished and hunted and camped in the outdoors every chance I got as a young person. And as I got older, I continued to do these things. As time went on with my aortic stenosis this was becoming more and more difficult. It got to the point where I would become winded, and struggled just to go upstairs in my own home. Doings things outdoors was non-existent.

My Cardiologist, Dr. Miller, had been very carefully watching this progression for some time and suggested that I might be a candidate for a TAVR procedure. He advised that this procedure – which previously was only available to patients at high risk for surgery – had recently become available to patients like me at St. Elizabeth, and that I might be a candidate for it. So I decided to investigate. Boy am I glad I did. I was not aware of what a world-class operation you are running there. I learned that your team worked with Mayo Clinic as they were building the program here in Northern Kentucky and I will testify that this is a life-changing arrangement benefiting us all. The St. Elizabeth cardiologists and surgeons are top flight, the staff is exceptional and the level of care exceeds all expectations. From my very first meeting with my personal nurse-navigator right thru the operation to the cardiac rehab after the surgery I received the most professional level of care imaginable.

I can’t say enough about the doctors and nurses of St. Elizabeth, what an outstanding group of professionals! As the result of my experiences with your organization, I was home from the hospital in just a few days, and back to doing the things I love within a matter of weeks.
This year I have been fishing twice in Michigan, as well as Norris Lake and Kentucky Lake. Didn’t catch much but it was a joy to be able to be outdoors. My wife and I also took a trip to Virginia, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, hiking whenever the mood struck. Since this was essentially a motor trip, it was wonderful to be able to hike up and down the mountains along the way. Many miles were put on my old hikers during that trip. My point is that these type activities were not available to me just a short time ago and I thank you for giving them back to me. The quality of life I enjoy today is amazing and a direct result of the level of care I received at St. Elizabeth; and for that, I will be eternally grateful. Keep doing what you’re doing St. E, you’re a lifesaver.

I’m right here, because St. Elizabeth is too.

Gratefully yours,

michael wolfe 1

Michael Wolfe