A WOMAN aged 101 has become one of the oldest patients in the UK to get a new heart valve.
Ruth Shire was back at home just days after life-saving keyhole surgery.
The retired nurse was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a narrowed heart valve, after becoming increasingly breathless last year.
She was delighted to be told just before Christmas she could have a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), which inserts a tube through the top of the leg.
Last month, she became the oldest person to get a new valve fitted at her local Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, and was home three days later.
Ruth admitted: “I had great reservations as regards the consequences of stroke and other complications.
“It shows this procedure can be done in elderly people quite safely, especially people like me with my 101 years.”
Daughter Miriam added: “Since becoming a widow 18 years ago, my mother has held on to her independence with fierce determination.
“She still lives in her own house and runs a very active life.
“It means so much to know that she, and we, will have some bonus quality time.”
It is hoped TAVI — recently rolled out to patients of all ages — could help save many of them.
Dr Sagar Doshi, who led the surgery, said: “We’re delighted with the outcome for Mrs Shire and very pleased that we have helped maintain her wellbeing and independence.”