Valve Clinic Mends a Big Heart

Burt Aaronson, heart patient, Delray Medical Center

Burt portraitAfter two decades in office as a Palm Beach County commissioner, and holding other roles as a furniture executive, husband, and most recently, a great-grandfather, Burt Aaronson is considered one of Palm Beach County’s top leaders. Among his many accomplishments, Aaronson led the fundraising effort to build a Special Olympics athletic and therapeutic center, and he also founded the Palm Beach International Film Festival. 

But even a man known for having such a big heart can suffer from heart problems.

Burt began feeling sluggish and found it difficult to go about his daily routine. He visited Dr. Steven Pollack, a cardiologist on the medical staff at Delray Medical Center, who examined him and discovered he was suffering from a dysfunctional aortic valve.

Dr. Pollack referred Burt to Dr. Jeffrey Newman, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon, also on the medical staff at the hospital. Dr. Newman and the staff at Delray Medical Center’s valve clinic performed an aortic valve replacement. They removed Burt’s faulty valve and inserted a fully functional artificial valve along with a pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat.

The surgery went smoothly, and afterwards, Burt was surprised at how quickly he began feeling like his former self. Just four days after leaving the hospital, he was already dressed in a suit and giving political speeches.

“The procedure was a success and made it easier for me to function again,” says Burt. “I’m 87, but I feel and act like I’m 57.”

Burt is sincerely grateful to Dr. Newman and the staff at Delray Medical Center for saving his life. From now on, if someone asks him where to go for heart care, he will always recommend Delray.

“I have the greatest respect for the management, physicians and medical staff,” Burt says. “It’s a great hospital.”

Because of the positive results from his procedure, Burt can continue being an influential leader in the community – staying involved with his family, and striving to make a difference through politics and his philanthropic work.

“I just want to keep on living and doing things for people,” he says.

With his strong passion to make an impact, Burt plans to leave a mark on an area much greater than just South Florida.