Patient Story: Carl Dukate

Carl Dukate, an active 66-year-old enjoys his retirement in Osprey, Florida but a medical condition meant that he would have to have valve surgery at some point in his life.

IMG_1144“I was diagnosed with a heart murmur some years ago,” said Dukate. “My physician in Florida performed an echocardiogram and told me that at some point I would need a new valve.”

When Dukate was at a family dinner in Colorado and passed out, for seemingly no reason, he knew it was time to seek more information about valve surgery. Testing determined that he was a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery and his cardiologist referred him to Dr. Clifton Lewis.

Dukate did his homework and through web research and talking with friends who knew Dr. Lewis he determined that coming to Alabama for his surgery was the best choice for him. Dukate even went to Dr. Lewis’s YouTube channel to watch a video about what the surgery would entail which helped him understand what would happen.

“Dr. Lewis put me very much at ease about the surgery,” he said. “He does a large volume of valve surgeries each day and each week and I wanted the guy who has a lot of these procedures under his belt.”

His experience with Dr. Lewis’s staff and the Princeton cardiovascular services staff was outstanding, he said. “They are efficient and have the process down to a science and they are very caring and warm at the same time.”

Dukate returned to Florida a few days after his surgery and today continues to pursuing the lifestyle and activities he enjoys.

“He has definitely added some years to my life” he said. “Hopefully I will not have to have any more work done but if I do he’s going to be the surgeon to do it.”