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TAVR Patient Dances at Grandson’s Wedding


Elaine plays violinIt was late August 2022 and Elaine Holdsworth had a busy to-do list on her agenda. In addition to her weekly book club meetings, violin lessons at the local school and participation in multiple orchestras, she had an important event to attend: her grandson’s wedding on December 2 of that year. But celebrating at that wedding and dancing with her grandson appeared to be an unlikely possibility for the classically-trained violinist who also plays the cello, viola and string bass.

Experiencing tightness in her chest and unable to walk more than a few blocks without feeling lightheaded, Elaine’s visit to a cardiologist near her Wilbraham, Massachusetts home revealed that the artificial heart valve implanted in 2017 had failed and she was in need of another transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery. Her hopes of immediate corrective surgery were dashed when she learned it would be mid-October before a surgical opening was available at the local medical center. 

How Elaine quickly found her way to Tufts Medical Center’s structural heart program can be traced to her super-sleuth attorney son, Curtis, a co-founder of MedFactor, an organization with a vast network of providers and facilities available to patients needing care. After searching for a highly experienced TAVR physician in the area, he found Dr. Charles Resor, Medical Director of the Transcatheter Heart Valve Program at Tufts Medical Center. Curtis then had a lengthy introductory conversation with both Alison Massed, NP, and Amanda Weathers, MSN on the TAVR team, and was thrilled to learn of an availability for surgery within two weeks. 

Elaine dances with her sonSo Elaine and her husband took the 90-mile drive into Boston for her day of blood tests, catherization and echocardiogram that “showed I would be a good candidate for the TAVR procedure,” she said. On Sept. 14, 2022, Dr. Resor performed the successful and complicated surgery, which required inserting a new artificial valve inside the previous defective one. 

“It was a first rate experience,” the retired social worker says of her time at Tufts MC. “I don’t like being in a hospital, but Tufts Medical Center was a good hospital to be in. Everyone was so friendly and helpful to me.”

The results of the surgery were life changing for Elaine who will celebrate her 79th birthday in March. “Thanks to Tufts Medical Center I was able to dance and celebrate at my grandson’s wedding.”