Relieving aortic stenosis
In November 2017, Mr. Betteil felt fatigued. He was short of breath and became limited in his activities, which included creating art, carving wood and sculpting Native American statues. He couldn't walk up a flight of stairs.
Mr. Betteil suffered from aortic stenosis, an age-related condition where the aortic valve calcifies and diseases. It can be fatal and there are more than 200,000 new cases each year in the US.
Mr. Betteil needed to act quickly. And Bruce Rutkin, MD, director, structural heart disease, performed the TAVR procedure in April at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital.
"It's really about the patient, their attitude, their cognitive function, their support system, their physical strength," Dr. Rutkin said. "We don't look at the number. For someone who is 94 and looks as good as he does, the reality is that his plumbing inside is 94 years old, which means there is more risk."
Mr. Betteil calls Dr. Rutkin and his care team "magicians" and "life-savers."
"We thought that was it," said Matthew Betteil. "We went through a battery of tests and our fingers were crossed the whole time. My father is so resilient he passed all of the tests with flying colors."