Published on August 05, 2021

Young At Heart…Richard "Dick" Sears’ TAVR Experience

Richard "Dick" Sears, a life-long Santa Clarita resident and supporter of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital received the news in May of this year that would be life-changing. Richard had been diagnosed with the cardiovascular disease back in 2019. However, a recent echocardiogram found that his heart condition was deteriorating, and it was determined that he would need surgery sooner than later. Upon hearing this news, Richard and his wife Maria met with Dr. Abhishek Sinha, Medical Director, Structural Heart Program at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Roberta G. Veloz Cardiovascular Center. It was then that he learned about a new procedure being offered by Henry Mayo, known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

TAVR is a minimally-invasive cutting-edge heart procedure to replace narrowed aortic valves that fail to open properly. TAVR procedures may be an option for people who are at intermediate or high risk of complications from surgical aortic valve replacement (open-heart surgery). Dr. Sinha was one of the first local interventional cardiologists to begin performing TAVRs and he’s completed 175 successful procedures, six of which were recently performed at Henry Mayo. After careful examination, Richard was found to be a candidate for the TAVR procedure and underwent surgery on July 15.

Richard’s surgery was a success and when sharing his story he said, “I feel like I can finally walk without having to stop and catch my breath. The procedure itself felt like was over before it began, with what felt like thousands of people around to treat me. I’m so grateful for the care I received and grateful for this very successful procedure. I want to thank those individuals that had this vision and the determination to provide this amazing procedure right here in Santa Clarita Valley.”

A philanthropic expression of gratitude by Roberta Veloz nearly a decade ago has been instrumental in giving rise to the vision, and expansion of Henry Mayo's cardiovascular services. Rosella Dolan, RN, Cardiovascular Services nurse navigator at Henry Mayo recently commented, “They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, in the hospital setting, it takes the coordination of several departments to create a program, and all of us share in the excitement of seeing this program come to fruition and bring such high-quality care to our community.” 

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is committed to providing exceptional service and state-of-the-art heart care while informing the Santa Clarita Valley community about innovative advancements that ultimately save lives, and improves the quality of life for residents.