Representatives from the Dutch cardiovascular patient organization De Hart&Vaatgroep, along with three patients living with heart valve replacement or repair shared their personal experiences with the Xeltis team this week at the company’s Second Patient Interaction Day.
“When will I need my next surgery? is a persistent and life-defining question,” according to one of the patients who mesmerized the Xeltis audience on the day. This is an ever-present thought which has marked time during school life, when planning training for a sport challenge, or even if thinking about starting a family.
“Let’s not forget the pain and strain related to surgery and recovery,” reminded another patient who underwent five open-heart surgeries and who gave a compelling speech during the visit. “Do you realize how important it is to develop a heart valve that may reduce the need for future re-operations?” someone else added.
“Patients have knowledge and understanding of life with an artificial heart valve that medical professionals do not have,” explained Daphne Bloemkolk from De Hart&Vaatgroup, “that’s why we work together.”
Moreover, Dr Ger Bennink, Head and Chief of congenital cardio-thoracic surgery at Heart Center Cologne, provided a meaningful medical framework on the issues faced by patients and potential ideal solutions.
“We embraced dialogue with patient associations like De Hart&Vaatgroup at a very early stage, to improve our direct understanding of real-life issues we are striving to solve,” stated Martijn Cox, Xeltis Co-Founder and CTO. “Listen is one of our corporate values. Listening to patients is extremely insightful and motivational,” he added.