• Cardiology Patient Stories

    Patient Comes to Mayo for Foot Surgery, Receives Lifesaving Surprise

Virgil Jernigan is enjoying his retirement thanks to surgery to repair a leaky mitral valve.When Virgil Jernigan came to Mayo Clinic for foot surgery, he was in for a lifesaving surprise. During an exam before his surgery, he mentioned to his nurse practitioner that he had been feeling fatigued and short of breath. So she ordered cardiac testing. Virgil was shocked to learn he had a leaking mitral valve – a potentially life-threatening heart condition. 

After consultations with his cardiology/cardiothoracic surgery team, Virgil was cleared for his orthopedic procedure. He also ultimately underwent a second, minimally invasive surgery to repair his mitral valve.

Today, Virgil is back to walking, golfing and, finally, enjoying his retirement, thanks to the questioning nature and follow-up of his nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic.

He tells his story in the video below.