Calvin Williams

Trans-catheter Mitral Valve Repair – MitraClip patient
Dr. Mustafa Ahmed

Calvin Williams at a dance competitionCalvin Williams dances his way through life. He has been dancing professionally for 45 years, teaches it twice a week and practices at least three times a week. “Most people don’t like exercising but they like dancing,” says Calvin. “I get to do something I enjoy and it’s good for my health.”

Dancing hasn’t always been easy for Calvin due to continued heart problems over the years. “I used to get tired when I was dancing because of my heart and I’d have to stop,” he says. “I’ve been in and out of the hospital due to fluid in my heart. It wasn’t pumping well enough to regulate fluid.” Calvin suffered from a leaky mitral valve known as mitral valve regurgitation. His heart was unable to pump blood forward properly. This allowed blood to flow toward the lungs, leading to congestive heart failure, making him extremely short of breath.

Calvin’s heart was in such bad condition it was felt he may not be able to survive conventional heart surgery. Thomas Cawthon, M.D., Calvin’s cardiologist at Princeton Baptist Medical Center, referred him to Mustafa Ahmed, M.D., director of the Structural Heart Disease program at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. Dr. Ahmed and his team performed the minimally invasive MitraClip procedure on Calvin’s heart.

The MitraClip procedure is a method of repairing the leaky mitral valve through a small tube inserted in the leg, avoiding the need for open heart surgery.  With Calvin, two “clips” were placed during the procedure that took less than an hour and he was able to go home the day after the procedure. This was all accomplished minimally invasively, without the need to open the chest or be placed on the heart-lung bypass machine which is typically needed for mitral valve repair. Dr. Ahmed and his team are widely known for their expertise and amongst the most experienced MitraClip operators in the United States.

Calvin Williams, dancingSince his procedure in May, Calvin has been to the doctor only once. Before his MitraClip procedure, he was in and out of the hospital several times a month. “Dr. Ahmed is a great doctor,” says Calvin. “He is very down to earth and knowledgeable and his staff is wonderful.”

Calvin is grateful to be back on the dance floor. “I have more energy than I’ve had in a really long time,” says Calvin. “Dancing is good for the heart and I’m thankful to be feeling better.”