Posts tagged ‘heart valve’

Custom made for her: New Jersey woman finds new life in heart valve device made at Hershey Medical Center

Denise Brown, who suffers from aortic stenosis and needed heart valve replacement surgery, sits with Dr. John Conte at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Brown is sitting in an exam room on a chair next to Conte, who is sitting on a stool next to a desk on which his laptop sits, open. Brown wears a cannula in her nose to assist with breathing.

Denise Brown, left, talks to Dr. John Conte about how she feels since he implanted an apical aortic conduit into her heart last February.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Denise Brown is no stranger to adversity. Incredibly, she battled four types of cancer by the time she turned 3 years old.

Her latest triumph is overcoming life-threatening heart valve surgery, which, she says, is thanks to God—and this time—to Dr. John Conte, program director, cardiac surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

“I kind of felt like I was unworthy,” said the 49-year-old New Jersey resident. “I said ‘Why me?’ He said, ‘You can’t live without it.’ I felt like a princess getting her pony for the first time.”

Because existing valve options wouldn’t fit Brown’s underdeveloped left ventricle, scarred from radiation, Conte sought special permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconfigure an old device. Next, he approached the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Division of Applied Biomedical Engineering to produce it.

(more…)

November 28, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

From patient to resident: Lindsay Requa’s Penn State Hershey experience shapes career

Lindsay Requa knows first-hand what the patients she has treated as a resident at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital are going through. Fourteen years ago, she was where they are today, when she learned she needed surgery to repair a leaky valve in her heart.

Lindsay Requa when she was a patient of Dr. Myers

Lindsay Requa when she was a patient of Dr. Myers

As a 15-year-old high school softball, basketball and field hockey player, she worried about whether she could still participate in the sports she loved, and whether the surgery scar would look bad when she wore her prom dress.

It wasn’t the answers from Dr. John Myers, her pediatric heart surgeon, that she remembers most, but the way he responded to her questions and concerns.

“He talked with me at my level and was really good about making me feel heard,” she said. “He made me feel good, so I understood what was happening.”

In July, a week before Requa completed her three-year pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital, she visited Myers and showed him a photo of the two of them from that time.

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August 12, 2015 at 9:24 am Leave a comment


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