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'There’s 88, and then there’s 88!’



William Purvis knew something wasn’t right when he became short of breath on his daily five-mile walks. That’s right – five miles a day. And he’s 88 years young.

A heart cath at the Baptist Heart Center revealed he needed open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve and open three blocked arteries. Purvis, a World War II veteran from Paducah, decided to have the recent surgery with help from his children and wife.   

Despite his years, he was willing to go through it to return to his active lifestyle. “I was healthy enough to do it, and I was willing to get it done,” Purvis said.

Cardiothoracic surgeon K. Ken Ung, M.D., said even though Purvis is his oldest open-heart surgery patient, his good health offset his years when considering his options. “There’s 88, and then there’s 88!” he said, noting Purvis’ exercise regimen.

Dr. Ung said Baptist had the facility and ability to take care of him. “After just five weeks, he was already riding his bicycle and walking. He’ll soon be back to five or six miles a day.”