Patient joins research trial; skates to successful outcome

77-year-old John Corrigan arrived at St. Luke’s on a Monday for open heart surgery.  Only two days later, holding a flashlight and wearing his green hospital green robe, he and his girlfriend—he calls her “Sweet Wheels”—would roller-skate for the unit just before going home.

skatesJohn was enrolled in the Medtronic SURTAVI trial.  The purpose of the study is to investigate the safety and efficacy of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) in patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis at intermediate surgical risk by randomizing to receive either surgical aortic valve replacement, or TAVI with the Medtronic CoreValve System.  John was selected for surgery.

What was John’s reaction after surgery? “The doctors and nurses are so nice,” he concluded. “I can’t believe this is a hospital.  It’s a blessing.”

John and Sweet Wheels took it easy on their skate around the floor. “Well, I’m a roller dancer, not a skater,” John corrected.  “A competitive ballroom dancer and ice dancer.  Maybe that’s what keeps me young.”

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