It isn’t everyday someone turns 99 years old. And the caregivers at Medical City Dallas wanted to make sure this nonagenarian received a gift and a birthday party she wouldn’t forget.
Dorothy Lowman was told her condition, severe aortic stenosis – a valve disease that restricts blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body – was untreatable due to her age. Medical City Dallas interventional cardiologist Bruce Bowers, MD and cardiovascular surgeon Todd Dewey, MD believed otherwise.
They could improve Ms. Lowman’s quality of life by performing a minimally invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is an innovative treatment for the modern patient and would offer a brief recovery and shorter hospital stay.
So, at 98-years-old, she underwent the TAVR procedure and was able to return home the following day.
“Mrs. Lowman came to us because she was having difficulty completing her daily, routine activities due to her critically stenosed aortic valve,” said Bruce Bowers, MD, HCA National Medical Director for Invasive and Noninvasive Cardiology. “We have found is that there is a difference between a patient’s cardiovascular age and their actual age. Dorothy’s cardiovascular age is more in line with someone in their 70s, which helped make her a good candidate for the TAVR procedure. It is minimally invasive and allowed her to go home the following day. She is doing great one month after her procedure, and I was honored to be part of surprising Mrs. Lowman for her 99th birthday.”
Just one-month later, Ms. Lowman returned to the hospital for her follow-up appointment and received quite the surprise from her care team: a 99th birthday party.
“What a surprise. I was at a loss for words,” Ms. Lowman said. “I was so grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff at Medical City Dallas for throwing me this exciting birthday party.”
Lisa Johnson, a nurse practitioner who helped plan the birthday party, told ABCNews.com: “We knew we had to do something to celebrate her life and how great she is feeling just one month after her TAVR procedure.”
Ms. Lowman’s condition, which could have led to life-threatening problems, such heart failure, irregular heart rhythms or cardiac arrest, is in good health and spirits today.
“My 99th year has certainly been one to remember because I will finally be able to get back to activities I love,” Ms. Lowman said.
Each year, more than 200,000 Americans suffer with severe aortic stenosis, with more than 60,000 aortic valve replacement procedures performed annually.
Take a look at Ms. Lowman’s 99th birthday party at Medical City Dallas below and a featured piece on ABC News here. This story is to bring awareness to and kick off American Heart Month in February. For more information on heart health, visit the American Heart Association.
Ms. Lowman poses with her care team during her 99th birthday party at Medical City Dallas.
Ms. Lowman opens her birthday presents.
Dr. Bruce Bowers joins Ms. Lowman to celebrate her 99th birthday.
Nurse practicioner Lisa Johnson, who helped plan the birthday party, celebrates with Ms. Lowman and family.
Birthday cake to enjoy!
Happy 99th birthday Ms. Lowman!