"When I woke up from my procedure, Dr. Williams and Dr. Kodali said to me YOU are a great success. However, they were wrong, I am their success." – Marion Hawkey, TAVR procedure on November 14th, 2012.
Marion Hawkey came to the Columbia Heart Valve Center for an evaluation of her heart because she started to have trouble walking even short distances. After just a few steps, she experienced shortness of breath and she would have to sit down due to very low energy. Marion’s evaluation of her heart revealed that she had severe aortic stenosis, and she learned that without treatment her condition would only worsen.
Marion was born in 1924 and grew up in Valley Stream, NY, in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other’s name. She attended Central High School and worked on the school newspaper which proved not only to be rewarding, but also had a profound impact on her life as she met Richard (Dick) Hawkey, her husband for 63 years. Marion and Dick settled on the South Shore of Long Island. They raised their six children in the same home they remain in today. Marion and Dick are now proud grandparents of six grandchildren and great-grandparents to three great-grandchildren! Their family is close and their house in Long Island remains home-base to all.
Marion came from good genes. Her father lived to be 96 years old and Marion hoped to follow in his footsteps. So when Marion started to feel the strain of her heart valve disease, she knew it was time to seek medical advice.
Marion’s daughter, Marian, is an RN and Director of Clinical Research at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Coincidentally, Marian works closely with a team of clinicians who were treating aortic stenosis with a promising new, minimally invasive procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Marion met with Dr. Mathew R. Williams and Dr. Susheel K. Kodali, who reviewed her medical condition and determined that she was a candidate for TAVR.
On November 14, 2012 Marion had her aortic valve replaced. Other than a momentary discomfort when the pace maker was removed, Marion was very comfortable during her stay at Columbia. By the evening following her procedure, Marion was sitting upright. By the following day she was walking the hallways of the Coronary Care Unit unaided. Closely attended to by multiple nurses and aides, she received top notch care and, of course, Dr. Kodali, Dr. Williams and their team came to visit frequently. Additionally Marion was a big fan of the hospital food, most especially the oatmeal from the cafeteria.
Marion was in the hospital from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon. By the time she arrived home, Marion felt a noticeable difference. She could walk longer distances without labored breathing and felt a new burst of energy. She has since planted a vegetable garden, the first in many years (in retrospect, likely because she didn’t have the energy to attend to a garden). And always a great baker (as the author can attest), Marion is back in the kitchen baking cookies………and most of all living her life.