Toms River, NJ - Donald Estelle felt just fine heading into a routine appointment with his primary physician. However, the physician was troubled by what he heard with a stethoscope and referred Donald to a cardiologist for further testing.
After undergoing an electrocardiogram (EKG), Donald received the shocking news that his aortic valve was not opening adequately. And while this was certainly a serious condition, the cardiologist felt that Donald didn't need to jump into surgery right away but would need to address it over time.
The time period came quicker than expected. Just a year later at his annual cardiology check-up, the 76-year-old Toms River resident learned that his condition had gone from serious to severe. Time was of the essence.
Donald was referred to cardiac surgeon Mark J. Russo, MD. During the consultation, Dr. Russo explained that Donald's aortic valve was not functioning properly and needed to be replaced. "I was shocked and scared and didn't know what to say," says Donald.