At first, Marc Marion thought he was just out of shape. The active 66-year-old teacher from Mount Vernon was on a walk with his wife and daughter, when he felt breathless. He was recovering from a hamstring injury, so he figured he needed more conditioning to feel right again.
But when breathlessness turned to chest pain, Marc feared he was having a heart attack. He saw his family doctor, who sent him to a local cardiologist for testing.
“I flunked the treadmill test,” he said. “That was a big sign.” Marc had a congenital heart defect—and needed a valve replacement.
Choosing the best Heart Program
Living 45 miles north of Everett, Marc had to choose where he wanted to undergo his valve replacement procedure—North or South. He talked with family, did research and for him the clear choice was Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Friends agreed they wouldn’t go anywhere else. Teaching at Northshore Christian Academy in Everett for the past 18 years and with his wife Lynda’s family in the area, it made the decision that much easier.
Marc was referred to James Brevig, MD, a Providence cardiac and thoracic surgeon.
He said Marc was young and in generally good health, which qualified him for traditional, open-heart surgery to replace his malfunctioning valve. Marc had the procedure in February 2018 and spent five days at Providence recovering.
An avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, Marc was motivated to regain his active lifestyle. He walked. And walked. And walked some more. By his three-week check-up, he was walking 105 minutes a day. Dr. Brevig was pleased, and Marc’s recovery continued to progress. He was back teaching in just eight weeks.
“My experience at Providence was nothing but positive,” Marc said. “Still, I hope I don’t need to come back. But if I do, I know I’ll be in the best hands.”