Medical City Dallas care team gives 99-year-old surprise birthday party after life-saving treatment

99-year-old hospital patient posing for a photo with her care team during birthday party
Ms. Lowman poses with her care team during her 99th birthday party at Medical City Dallas.

It isn’t everyday someone turns 99 years old. And the caregivers at Medical City Dallas wanted to make sure this nonagenarian received a gift and a birthday party she wouldn’t forget.

Dorothy Lowman was told her condition, severe aortic stenosis – a valve disease that restricts blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body – was untreatable due to her age. Medical City Dallas interventional cardiologist Bruce Bowers, MD and cardiovascular surgeon Todd Dewey, MD believed otherwise.

They could improve Ms. Lowman’s quality of life by performing a minimally invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is an innovative treatment for the modern patient and would offer a brief recovery and shorter hospital stay.

So, at 98-years-old, she underwent the TAVR procedure and was able to return home the following day.

“Mrs. Lowman came to us because she was having difficulty completing her daily, routine activities due to her critically stenosed aortic valve,” said Bruce Bowers, MD, HCA Healthcare National Medical Director for Invasive and Noninvasive Cardiology. “We have found is that there is a difference between a patient’s cardiovascular age and their actual age. Dorothy’s cardiovascular age is more in line with someone in their 70s, which helped make her a good candidate for the TAVR procedure. It is minimally invasive and allowed her to go home the following day. She is doing great one month after her procedure, and I was honored to be part of surprising Mrs. Lowman for her 99th birthday.”

Just one-month later, Ms. Lowman returned to the hospital for her follow-up appointment and received quite the surprise from her care team: a 99th birthday party.

“What a surprise. I was at a loss for words,” Ms. Lowman said. “I was so grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff at Medical City Dallas for throwing me this exciting birthday party.”

Lisa Johnson, a nurse practitioner who helped plan the birthday party, told “We knew we had to do something to celebrate her life and how great she is feeling just one month after her TAVR procedure.”

Ms. Lowman’s condition, which could have led to life-threatening problems, such heart failure, irregular heart rhythms or cardiac arrest, is in good health and spirits today.

“My 99th year has certainly been one to remember because I will finally be able to get back to activities I love,” Ms. Lowman said.

Each year, more than 200,000 Americans suffer with severe aortic stenosis, with more than 60,000 aortic valve replacement procedures performed annually.

Take a look at Ms. Lowman’s 99th birthday party at Medical City Dallas below and a featured piece on ABC News here. This story is to bring awareness to and kick off American Heart Month in February. For more information on heart health, visit the American Heart Association.

99-year-old hospital patient surprised with birthday party


99-year-old woman opening birthday present

Ms. Lowman opens her birthday presents. 

Male doctor hugging 99-year-old patient

Dr. Bruce Bowers joins Ms. Lowman to celebrate her 99th birthday. 

99-year-old patient posing for photo with family member and nurse

Nurse practicioner Lisa Johnson, who helped plan the birthday party, celebrates with Ms. Lowman and family. 

Birthday cake with vanilla frosting and pink flowers

Birthday cake to enjoy! 

99-year-old patient posing with birthday decorations

Happy 99th birthday Ms. Lowman! 

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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