Dorothy Hoskey has a big grin on her face when she confides that she has a t-shirt that says “Here comes trouble.” In 2018, the feisty 86-year-old got a pacemaker and had a TAVR operation at the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Center at Baystate Medical Center. TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a heart valve. Dorothy says since her surgeries, her life has changed completely. Before surgery, she was stuck in her apartment barely able to walk or talk normally and was forced to cut back on the activities she loves. “I’m very social and I like to party,” she said.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Dorothy knew she had to have heart surgery but when she found out she’d also need a pacemaker, she was scared and considered not having surgery at all. “I was worried I wouldn’t come out of it,” she said.
Dorothy says her nurse practitioner, Grace Lavalley, eased her nervousness in a way she’ll never forget. “Grace explained I couldn’t have the heart surgery without the pacemaker and held my hand and we sang the song ‘Love and marriage (you can’t have one without the other).’” Dorothy believed if it weren’t for Grace, she wouldn’t have had the surgery.
Dr. Ashequl Islam, the cardiologist who performed the TAVR procedure, patient care technician Samantha Anderson, and nurse Karissa Gorman were a few of the other caregivers Dorothy was thankful for.
* Dorothy Hoskey passed away on March 17, 2019. The procedures and medical care she received at Baystate Health allowed her to live a fuller life over the last year.