Florida Region

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5810 Coral Ridge Drive, Suite 300 Coral Springs, Florida 33076

Louis Willa

Louis Willa

Louis Willa poses for a headshot, with a gentle smile.

It started one sunny day on the golf course roughly six years ago when I went to take a swing and felt slightly short of breath. I continued to feel this way every so often, but I didn’t think anything of it. I hoped it would go away on its own, but it just worsened over time.

Eventually I couldn’t walk any distance at all without feeling out of breath. A few weeks later, I was sitting at home with my wife when my chest started to feel like it was being crushed by a ton of bricks. My wife rushed me to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

My cardiologist, Dr. Jacob Litwinczuk, diagnosed me with Aortic Valve Stenosis, a disease of the heart valves. I found out I needed a new heart valve. However, my cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Richard Faro, felt I would not be able to make it through another surgery. So I waited, hopeful that a new revolutionary procedure would become available that could save me.

Six years later, I learned that the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure had arrived at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Dr. Litwinczuk told me I would be the perfect candidate. He said the procedure is minimally invasive, which typically means a shorter hospital stay and less side effects.

TAVR was pretty much my only option. I wasn’t necessarily nervous, but I was anxious. I knew my prayers had been answered, and this was my chance for survival.

On June 7, 2013, I became the very first patient to undergo the TAVR procedure at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Five excellent doctors were involved with my surgery. My cardiothoracic surgeons were Dr. Faro and Dr. Arthur Katz. My cardiologists were Dr. Litwinczuk and Dr. Augusto Villa. I am forever grateful to them for making it possible to receive my new valve.

The recovery time was amazing. I was back on my feet three days later. Two weeks after the surgery, I was able to take a shower without huffing and puffing. I feel like I can do anything. My wife had me walk through the mall parking lot the other day, and not once did I get out of breath.

At this rate, I know I’ll be back on the golf course soon. I am so excited for what the future holds and am very fortunate to be able to spend more time with my beautiful wife.

Because of this procedure, we will be able to celebrate our 53rd anniversary together. Not only has TAVR successfully saved my life, but it now has the potential to extend the lives of many others.

This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.

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