JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thanks to a new procedure performed at St. Vincent's Medical Center, a family of 50 will have their grandma sitting at the head of the table for Thanksgiving.
In the Crum household, Thanksgiving is a family affair.
But this year, that was in jeopardy because 88-year-old Berta's heart valve was failing. But she was too frail for open heart surgery.
"I knew my time was running short. Because I got so short-winded," she said.
Seemingly right on cue, Dr. Samer Garas presented Berta with the perfect holiday gift: a less invasive surgery her body could handle.
"We were able to replace her valve through the leg we passed a catheter to her old valve, deployed a new valve. In her case it was certainly a life-saving procedure," he explained.
The new TAVR (or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) surgery gave this grandma her second wind. Good news considering she's going to have a full house come Thursday. She's preparing a feast for the masses.
"I have 10 children. And I have 16 grandchildren. And my grandchildren have got married and they have kids," Berta said with a huge smile.
So this holiday, Thanksgiving means more than ever.
"I'm thankful, I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for the surgery. I feel like a different person. It's just a wonderful, wonderful thing."
St. Vincent's is the first hospital in the region to perform the new TAVR surgery. Only about 100 in the country are equipped to do it.