Betty's Story

Photo of Betty

Last year, Betty’s heart was so weak she couldn’t walk across a room. Today, she’s planning a trip across the country.

For years, Betty experienced chest pain and breathing difficulties. She lived with the pain until it got so bad that she couldn’t walk across a room. Frustrated, she finally went to the hospital and was told that she had a heart murmur. But because of her weak condition, there was nothing they could do for her.

Betty and her husband prepared for what seemed the inevitable outcome – death, within two years. Betty’s heart disease also prevented her from getting the hip replacement surgery needed to walk without pain. “They just basically said my heart was in such a condition there was no way I could undergo surgeries.”

Betty has a loving family, including three children, seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Her health, however, had gotten so bad that life seemed to have lost its joy. “I was ready to go,” said Betty. “The pain was so horrible.”

Photo of Betty

In December, Betty lost her beloved husband of 60 years. She came to Texas for the funeral. It was then that she had another cardiac episode, with her heart stopping again. This time, however, the episode would change the course of her life. At the emergency room, she was examined by a physician who had heard about the Dallas Valve Institute at Medical City. For the first time in years, Betty saw hope. “I said thank you, Lord. I’m in the right place, at the right time.”

On May 24, Betty Thompson received a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), performed at the Dallas Valve Institute. Her recovery was quick and smooth. In August, she underwent the long-awaited hip surgery. “I’ve been in a lot of hospitals in the last 20 years,” said Thompson. “This was one of the best stays I’ve ever had. I wasn’t just a number.”

Today, Betty’s looking forward to travelling. She’s planning a girls trip – a cross-country journey with her sister, to visit their hometown in Vermont. “Dr. Dewey saved my life. I’ve been in a wheelchair for ten years. Now, after this procedure, I am able to get my hip fixed and I can get out of this chair after all these years. Now, that is amazing!”