LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Happy Birthday to James Braxton. He is 100 years old today and grateful for five extra years, thanks to Dr. Marc Levine, a Lubbock Interventional Cardiologist.
Five years ago, Mr. Braxton complained to doctors that he could hardly play his saxophone because of shortness of breath.
Dr. Levine learned he had a damaged heart valve and needed open heart surgery. But that was considered risky for anyone over age 80, much less a man of 95.
So, Dr. Levine tried something new.
He says, "So he was our first patient to offer a new procedure called TAVR which essentially replaces the heart valve with no surgery - just through using needle punctures through the leg. And the procedure took about an hour. One week later, he played the saxophone for our whole staff."
Braxton's son, Thomas, says this about his dad's recovery from the procedure, "Up until just a little while ago, he was going up to Dunbar Middle School and playing with the jazz ensemble."
James Braxton and his son, Thomas, were back at Covenant Health on Wednesday to thank Dr. Levine for five more years and the chance to celebrate a 100th birthday.
A bigger birthday celebration is planned for this Saturday at First United Methodist Church in the parlor from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.