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Bismarck TAVR patient recovers from heart procedure and says he’s living a new life

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 3:59 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Heart surgery might sound scary to a lot of people. The thought could even prevent some people from going to the doctor when they know something’s wrong.

Now a less invasive method, called a TAVR procedure, has helped many people with valve problems receive the benefits of surgery without being cut open.

George Murschel was watching T.V. and heard a commercial that rang a little too close to home.

“This lady would come on periodically and she would state that if you’ve got chest pain, you’re drug out and you can’t sleep and all this good stuff, it’s time for you to get to the doctor,” said George Murschel.

George and his wife, Mary Ann, noticed he had no energy and something serious was going on.

“He was having a really hard time walking from side to side. I always told him,’ you walk like a drunk,’” said Mary Ann Murschel.

They went in to the doctor and found out George needed heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. The good news: he was a candidate for TAVR, a much less invasive process than an open chest procedure.

“Basically, changing the aortic valve of the patient from the leg or from any other access in the body without splitting their chest open,” said Sanford Health Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Nayan Desai.

“I was so happy to hear it was a TAVR,” said Mary Ann.

“I said let’s go for it,” said George.

George says he was in bed for surgery for two hours, talking with the doctors as they worked on his heart. And after, he was a new man.

“They got me up and I was down the hall, you know,” said George.

His wife agrees. “Do I look pretty cute?” said George.

“His eyes were wide open. He could talk so much better and yeah. It was amazing,” said Mary Ann.

Now, George says he has 95% of his energy back and is doing more of what he loves every day.

“Here I am today-- a second life that’s unbelievable,” said George.

He says he’s back at it, enjoying retirement with his wife and getting to play with his grandkids and great grand babies.

George Murschel says he’s feeling brand new and plans on heading to his first rehab appointment Friday.

Dr. Desai says anyone experiencing symptoms of tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath, passing out or chest tightness, should check with their doctor to determine if they have aortic stenosis, which could make them a candidate for TAVR.

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