Kaye Ball from Grove, Oklahoma had experienced cardiovascular issues for many years. It wasn’t until she learned about minimally invasive heart surgery at Oklahoma Heart Institute that she felt like she was finally able to get her heart issues under control.
“I have had heart trouble for quite some time,” said Ball. “I had a minor heart attack several years ago, which led me to open heart surgery. When I started going for checkups after that first surgery, the doctors told me I had a leaky valve. Due to the extensive pain and recovery that I endured with my first surgery, I was determined to ignore this issue because I did not want to go through that again. Even though I had great results, I didn’t think my body could endure another surgery that tough.”
As time went on, the leaky valve got worse. “After a few checkups, I could tell the doctor was very serious when explaining how much the valve was leaking,” explained Ball. “Even so, I told him I wasn’t having another surgery. Through my stubbornness, my doctor told me that there was a great new surgeon in Tulsa, Dr. Allen Cheng, surgical director of heart failure and mechanical circulatory support at Oklahoma Heart Institute, who was doing minimally invasive surgery. My doctor wanted me to speak with him, which I agreed to do. My children, who are very supportive, were adamant about me speaking with Dr. Cheng because they wanted me to have a chance to feel better.”
After much consideration, Ball finally made an appointment to see Dr. Cheng. “My daughter, who is a nurse, went to the appointment with me which was very comforting,” said Ball. “From the very first appointment, we really liked him. He listened well and explained everything in great detail. I told him I was afraid and really didn’t want to have another surgery. After he explained everything, I felt much more at ease with the situation. I liked that he was very matter of fact.”
Following her initial meeting with Dr. Cheng, Ball had an important decision to make. “I told him I would need some time to really think about the surgery,” stated Ball. “I had to have some tests run to make sure I was a good candidate. Following the tests, I agreed to have the surgery. At one of my appointments, Dr. Cheng told me that I needed a good support system, which I’m very lucky to have. No one should go through this type of surgery alone. I am a widow, as my husband died five years ago, but my children are always here for me.”
Ball’s surgery took place at Hillcrest South. “When Dr. Cheng was getting me ready for my surgery, he told me the operation would be at Hillcrest South,” said Ball. “He said I would really like the hospital, and he was right. Everyone there was wonderful. All of the employees were so supportive and nice. Heart surgery is very hard, so that really put me at ease. My mother-in-law once told me that getting old isn’t for sissies, and I say heart surgery isn’t either. I really appreciated the hospitality that everyone at Hillcrest South and Dr. Cheng showed me.”
Six months post-surgery, Ball has recovered and is doing very well. “Dr. Cheng was great,” stated Ball. “I would definitely recommend him to anyone experiencing cardiovascular issues. I am so glad I went through with the surgery. I am back at work full-time and feeling great. I certainly don’t have the body of a 20 year old, but I’m feeling better than I have in a long time.”