News & Events

EMMC TAVR Program Benefits High-Risk Heart Valve Patients

Date: 10/02/2015

(Bangor, Maine) - There was a time just a few months ago when Horace Moffatt, better known as Spike, found himself at a crossroads in his life at the age of 83. After undergoing several coronary procedures over the years, Spike had a heart valve that was failing due to degeneration from aging. He had difficulty breathing, walking, and doing the simplest tasks. In the past, the only treatment option would have been open heart surgery to replace a valve. Fortunately, a new, less invasive procedure at EMMC called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) has Spike feeling better than he has in years.

The procedure, performed by highly-trained cardiology staff, is appropriate for patients who are too high-risk for open heart surgery. During the procedure, physicians replace a heart valve through a tiny one-centimeter incision. This results in less discomfort and a much faster recovery for patients.

When EMMC cardiologist Matthew McKay, MD, FACC, FSCAI, mentioned that it was time to take a serious look at the TAVR option, Spike put it bluntly: “The Lord will either take me home or he’ll need me right here.” And now, here he is.

“The success of this program through the collaboration of physicians, administrators, and departments really speaks to the ability of the medical center to work together to reach complex goals,” explains Dr. McKay. “This team approach for evaluation makes it easier on the patient, who benefits from the efficiency of seeing multiple specialists all on the same visit.”

Spike’s procedure was a resounding success. He and his wife Sharon have since returned to doing the things they love, such as visiting assisted living centers, singing in the choir, and simply paying it forward to those around them.

“It has gone just like clockwork,” says Sharon Moffatt, who was with Spike every day during his rehabilitation after the procedure. “It’s almost like he never even had a heart valve problem, because he’s almost back to being himself again. He’s playing with the grandkids and great grandkids and chopping wood. He was even playing volleyball one day for a short time.”

For more information on the TAVR program, or to see if you or your loved one is a candidate for the procedure, talk to your cardiologist or call EMMC’s Valve Center clinical coordinator at 973-9504.


Click below to watch a video of Spike, Sharon, and Dr. McKay discussing TAVR: