February 18th, 2013
By Makala Arce
My name is Bill Kalmer, and I have been a patient for the past 24 years at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My medical problems have been primarily cardiac in nature. I have had an AICD (automatic implanted cardiac defibrillator) for the past 24 yrs. My condition began to deteriorate 2 yrs ago and I suffered from congestive heart failure. In discussing my predicament with a friend who was a cardiologist, he offered to make some calls on my behalf to determine the best surgeon to turn to for a tricuspid valve replacement. He was told that Dr. Hartzell Schaff was THE BEST person to contact.
I followed up on this suggestion, and on July, 13, 2012, I underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic. It was the greatest referral I could have received! The experience my wife, daughter and I had was incomparable. The attitude, care, patience, compassion, competency, and professionalism of EVERYONE with whom we came in contact was off the charts! Naturally, this begins with Dr. Schaff but also extends to nurses, aids, staff physicians and clerical staff. My feeling is that if you need serious surgery, the Mayo Clinic is absolutely the BEST facility!
By the way, my recovery was uneventful and I am working out 4 times per week. I feel 20 years younger and have told my children that age 69 is the new 49!