a bionic heart

Diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis, mom’s symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue. Walking a short distance is a challenge for her.

She arrives in Phoenix, from El Paso, with plans to meet with Dr. Haidar Yassin, a specialist in Cardiovascular Disease. Basically, mom’s heart has a mechanical problem. In general, her body is being deprived of oxygen and the issue is progressive.

We visit Dr. Yassin and I ask about cause. He explains it is a natural calcium build-up in the aortic valve that is now complicating matters. Within the week mom is preparing for a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure and in the process she is scheduled for and gets a heart stent.

In the recovery room, a nurse gives us an illustration to explain where the stent sits (circled area). I decide right then –  I’ll use it to update mom’s study.

These days I refer to my life-size anatomy studies as narratives, consequently mapping her  story continues. I add to the life-size portrait of mom – Maternal Lineage – a heart.

The TAVR is a part of the picture now. I include both valve and stent. Mom will have the actual procedure in a few days.

I contact my friend David, who recommends Dr. Yassin, to update him on mom’s progress and thank him for pointing us in the right direction. He refers to the added drawing as the bionic heart. Mom approves….she’s a trooper.