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Patient stories

Minimally invasive valve procedure helps COPD patient breathe easier and continue pursuing his life’s adventures

Norman Jackson has dealt with health issues throughout his life. He battled multiple cases of pneumonia, developed COPD earlier in life and experienced three silent heart attacks while working in the criminal justice system in New York.

But you’d have never known it, had you seen him in his sixties, riding a Mongoose mountain bike all over town after he retired and moved to the Valley in 2013. 

“I bet I put 50 to 60,000 miles on that bike,” says Jackson, who estimates that he rode five to six hours a day for several years. “It just sits on my front porch now.”

A major heart attack while on a ride 35 miles from his home in 2018, and subsequent major heart surgery, were then followed by a serious case of Valley Fever, ending his bike-riding days and further damaging his lungs.

norman jackson
norman jackson
norman jackson

Putting one foot in front of the other

“I’ve had my fair shares of ups and downs,” says Jackson, who turned 71 in January. “But I’m going to continue to put one foot in front of the other and I’m not going to look back. That’s how I live my life every day.”

The owner of a 17-lb Pekingese dog and caretaker of a 20-square-foot fairy & troll garden, Jackson realizes that he will never breathe perfectly again. He still uses inhalers and needs oxygen from time to time, but he is “extremely grateful” for the drastically improved quality of life that Dr. Saeed’s procedures have given him.

“I’m lucky to be here,” he says, matter of fact. “I don’t know how to express to that man or Norton, how greatly I respect them and appreciate all that they’ve done. They are fantastic people.”