Martha's Story

Photo of Martha

Two years ago, Martha was told life-saving open-heart surgery was not an option. Today, she’s giving back to other patients.

All across the Medical City NICU, you can spot the signs that Martha Godwin was here. Pink, purple and blue knit caps are snugly tucked around the ears of tiny infants, a warm reminder that Godwin cares about them. Godwin knitted for most of her life. A few years ago, however, even that favorite hobby began to prove too tiring. Godwin had aortic stenosis, the tightening of the aortic valve. The supply of oxygen-rich blood to her body was being choked off, slowly weakening her. Without surgery, Godwin would die. Doctors told her she would never survive the open-heart surgery needed to replace her valve.

Several years ago, Godwin would have gone home, out of options. In 2006, however, Dallas Valve Institute at Medical City Dallas Hospital pioneered a new procedure, the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

Photo of Martha

Godwin had the procedure in the fall of 2011. A tiny tube, called a catheter, was inserted into a small incision in her body. The catheter was guided through arteries to her heart, where a new synthetic valve inside the tube was released. The new valve replaced the function of her diseased valve. “I never took a pain pill!” Godwin praises TAVR saying, “This procedure is magic.”

As Godwin’s health returned, so did her desire to give something back to other patients. She began sharing her story, and her talent. Today, Godwin knits hundreds of caps, sharing them with NICUs all over North Texas.