Posts tagged ‘John Conte’

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


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