A Special Valentine's Day For Couple Following New Heart Procedure

Valentine's Day will be a special one for a Washington couple after an innovative heart procedure saved one of their lives.

85-year-old Joe Hofmann of Washington underwent the new procedure on January 30th at the East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant Medical Center after doctors found two blockages in his heart.

The treatment, known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, is a first for the Carolinas. It has now been performed three times in Greenville since January 23rd.

The procedure allows for aortic valve replacement without the need to perform open heart surgery.

Just ten days after being released, Hofmann is back on his feet and says he's feeling much better. He and his wife Doris credit the new procedure with saving his life. Joe says, "It's a new life. Really. Absolutely. I mean, if you had seen me before and now, they just gave me a new life." Doris says, "He would have died. There's little doubt about that. Because open heart surgery was not an option for him."

The Hofmann's say that thanks to the procedure they look forward to celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary this April.

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