Thirty years ago, Pasadena resident Rick West was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He underwent treatment for his cancer, which included several rounds of chemotherapy. Although Rick is now cancer-free, his chemotherapy caused aortic valve stenosis — a serious condition in which the aortic valve narrows over time. If left untreated, his stenosis could lead to dangerous complications such as heart failure or stroke.

During regular check-ups at Huntington Health, Rick’s doctors closely monitored his heart. While he has been able to enjoy mountain biking and other outdoor activities over the years, Rick was worried about the life-threatening health problems that could eventually arise without intervention.

Recently, the time came to surgically address his stenosis, so Rick underwent open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. When deciding on a doctor for the surgery, Rick trusted Robbin Cohen, MD, medical director of cardiothoracic surgery for Huntington Health, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, for many reasons. He felt a connection with Dr. Cohen as a fellow mountain biker and describes him as “very likable and very honest.” These qualities — along with Dr. Cohen’s reputation for excellence — allowed Rick to feel comfortable and confident coming here for lifesaving care.

Patient, Rick West, along with Dr. Robbin Cohen, MD
Rick West is pictured with cardiac surgeon Robbin Cohen, MD

Dr. Cohen performed the surgery in March of 2023, after which Rick only spent a week in the hospital. Thankful for the advanced level of care he received here, Rick says, “Everyone at Huntington was fantastic. I was treated extremely well and can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Cohen and his team. I would absolutely recommend Huntington Hospital for heart care.”

In the following weeks, Rick had a couple check-ups to make sure his heart was healing well and is happy to have enjoyed a quick recovery without needing rehabilitative care. These days, he is back to work as a general contractor and doing what he loves most: mountain biking.

Rick describes the care he received at Huntington Hospital as life-changing, as it has allowed him to worry less about his health and to focus on enjoying life to the fullest. “I had an amazing experience at Huntington,” he says, “and I’ve never felt better.”

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