We were so impressed we want to have them over for dinner to show our gratitude.

Mark McMillin, Patient

Mark McMillin, 68, has a history of heart issues that began with a heart attack 18 years ago. At that time, he had four stents placed in his heart and he was also told that he had a heart murmur.

To ensure he was staying on top of his ticker, Mark scheduled yearly appointments with Dr. Christopher Rogers of Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare. In May of 2015, Dr. Rogers noticed a change in Mark’s heart valve performance and had Mark get an echocardiogram right away.

The echocardiogram confirmed that there was a severe blockage in Mark’s subclavian artery and his heart valve was failing. He was referred to Dr. Parth Amin of Bronson Cardiothoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Specialists to surgically repair his artery with a graft. His surgeon recommended a newer heart procedure called TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve repair) for his valve. Since Mark had undergone open heart surgery in the past, TAVR was the best route to take.

Carmela Pulling, RN, cardiovascular program coordinator, guided Mark through the whole process before and after the surgery. “I was very appreciative of Carmela,” shared Mark. “She was very helpful, personable and professional. She even gave me and my wife her personal cell phone number to contact her in case we had any questions.”

“I really didn’t have much to fear going into the procedure because Drs. Rogers and Amin explained everything so well,” said Mark. “They took the time to answer all of my questions.”

In October of 2015, Mark had the TAVR procedure done at Bronson Methodist Hospital. The surgical team performed the transapical approach. For this approach, the new valve was placed through a small incision on the left side of Mark’s chest and required removing a small piece of his rib.

“For the first couple of days after, I was in a lot of pain,” said Mark. “The nurses and the doctors worked very hard to ensure I was as comfortable as possible while I healed. My wife can testify to the great care I was provided and how attentive the staff was to our needs. She was very comfortable when she left knowing that I was in great hands.”

Six short weeks after the TAVR procedure, Mark was ready to get back to all of things he did before –golfing, working in the garden and fishing out on his boat.

“I am walking about a mile a day and working on extending the distance,” he explained. “I am hoping to become more active again in the future and during the winter months I will be spending in Alabama with my wife.”

Mark also joked that the team at Bronson would be first on the invite list for dinner when he and his wife return to Michigan in the spring.

“I am very grateful for what they were able to do for me, I could not have asked for or expected better care than I received.”

To learn more about the innovative heart and vascular procedures being done at Bronson, click here.