LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Jay Chesshir has always known he had heart problems. "I was diagnosed as a child with a heart issue, congenital aortic valve issue."
But it was something Jay never really thought much about until just a few months ago, when he began experiencing problems. "I had had some chest pains, went to my primary care doctor here in Little Rock who then referred me to Doctor Holloway to have a cardio workup."
Doctor James Holloway with Arkansas Cardiology decided it was time to replace the valve. "Over time, what happens with this type of valve problem there is leakage typically of the aortic valve." He says. "So left alone, the heart would weaken because of that extra volume of blood that's leaking back and congestive heart failure would result. Ultimately it can be an easily fatal problem."
When they were running pre-surgery tests they got a big surprise. Jay had 99-percent blockage in the front artery to his heart. Doctor Holloway says at that point surgeons n had another issue to deal with. "That alone was a life threatening problem and so at the time of his valve replacement, that vessel was surgically bypassed as well."
Jay is six and a half weeks out of surgery and Doctor Holloway says he likes what he hears. " Before, it was clushu clushu clushu and now it flubub flubub flubub just like it's supposed to be."
Doctor Holloway says your body speaks to you in different ways and you need to listen to what it is trying to tell you. He says don't be afraid to report changes to your doctor and Jay agrees. "If someone feels just the smallest of change in terms of activity, don't think it's just going to go away." Says Jay. "It's certainly something that folks need to have looked at because it can mean the difference between life and death."