Kernersville resident receives lifesaving heart surgery

In December 2020, Kernersville resident Joe Pinnix became the first Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center patient to be discharged the same afternoon after undergoing a minimally invasive valve replacement surgery. Joe and his wife, Kay, have supported Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center and Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation for years, and Joe is a former board member. 

Last spring, Joe started having shortness of breath. After a stress test, his primary care provider reported that Joe’s aortic valve, which allows oxygenated blood to leave the heart, needed to be replaced. 

Instead of open-heart surgery, cardiothoracic surgeon David Duncan, MD, recommended transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This procedure has been made possible by a generous donation to fund the operating room that is used for TAVR surgery. 

The surgery lasted just over an hour, and the doctors told Joe that his heart had responded so well that he could go home the same day. A week later, he was walking his dog again. 

“I didn’t have any discomfort. I never would have known I had had surgery! To have this surgery available in Winston-Salem is just a blessing,” Joe said.

Joe’s lifesaving surgery was possible because of the vision of a very generous donor. 

Thank you for bringing world-class care to our patients in Winston-Salem.