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Patient Testimonial: Elizabeth Westfall

Photo of Elizabeth Westfall had a mitral valve prolapse. Elizabeth Westfall needed heart surgery for a mitral valve prolapse, and came to Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for care.

After four kids, I thought feeling run down was normal. I never imagined having heart surgery at age 35.

I’d been diagnosed with mitral valve proplapse several years ago. Like lots of people with the same condition, I didn’t have any symptoms. When my breathing seemed heavier and I was more tired than usual, I didn’t even think about this problem.

But a regular checkup showed my heart was beginning to enlarge, which sometimes happens with mitral valve prolapse. I knew that wasn’t good.

Most places do open-heart procedures for what I needed. I was in disbelief. But then I learned that Johns Hopkins does minimally invasive valve repairs and replacements.

For me, it was easier than having a baby. I had a short hospital stay, and the only healing was a small cut under my breast.

Thanks to Hopkins, my heart isn’t slowing me down anymore.

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