LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Shortness of breath and weakness are symptoms that can be attributed to many things including old age, but it can also signal a bigger issue. That was the case for one Arkansas man who found it was related to a problem with his heart.
J.V. Camp is no stranger to doctors’ offices. For the last seven years he’s dealt with a heart murmur. He gets a checkup annually, but in June he started noticing some symptoms that were a little out of the ordinary.
“I experienced shortness of breath, weakness,” Camp said.
He tried to ignore it.
“I was in denial, nothing wrong, just a little overweight, getting old, out of shape,” Camp said.
After some convincing from his wife, he decided to move that appointment with his heart doctor up.
“My aortic valve had really shrunk preventing blood to really go through like it should,” Camp said.
Sending him to Baptist Health in Little Rock, Cardiologist Dr. Evan Watts had to run some tests.
“He was found to have a specific type of anemia where he’s not producing enough red blood cells,” Dr. Watts said. “In addition to that we found that he had some pretty severe blockages in his arteries that would need to be treated.”
All of this had to be done before Watts and his team could tackle the problem Camp came in for. While that can be a lot to handle for a patient, Camp felt at ease.
“After discussing this with Dr. Watts, I had no concerns at all and I can say that with all honesty,” Camp said.
Once those issues were resolved, the doctors then had to figure out which procedure would be the best option to take care of Camps heart.
“I did not want to go through open-heart surgery because I saw my dad suffer through it,” Camp said.
After talking through the risks and benefits, they decided to do what’s called a TAVR procedure.
“We typically go through one of the femoral arteries down in the leg and advance a transcatheter delivery system to deploy a new valve,” Dr. Watts said.
It’s minimally invasive and Watts said gives patients a better quality of life.
“This meant a lot to me. I went into the procedure with full assurance that everything was going to be okay,” Camp said.
Now just a few months later, Camp is back home and feeling better than ever.
“They gave me my life back. I really believe that,” Camp said.