Sally Cooper, a 105-year-old local, is the oldest person in the nation to undergo a minimally invasive heart surgery known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The procedure was performed on Thursday, April 28. 

Sally was diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, a condition causing the heart’s aortic valve to narrow, which reduces or blocks blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. While other institutions turned her away due to her age, Methodist Hospital physicians were able to replace Sally’s valve with an artificial one through a small incision in her leg. Sally was an ideal candidate for this procedure as TAVR is a surgical option for patients who are at higher risk of complications.

“Never did we think we would do valve replacements on patients over 100 years old,” commented Dr. Jorge Alvarez, Interventional Cardiologist. “With the advancement in technology, it is exciting to offer treatment to patients that would have been left with no true options based solely on their age.”

The 105-year-old has accomplished a lot over her years and says the secret to a long life is a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. One day post-surgery, Sally was humbled to share the many experiences of her long-lived life, offering stories of her travels, hobbies of dancing the waltz and playing the violin, along with memories of her family, including three children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Staying true to the spunky woman she is today, she even asked Dr. Alvarez to brunch following her discharge home. 

Sally is recovering well and is ready to get back to the things she loves, such as playing Scrabble.

To learn more about TAVR and cardiac care at Methodist Hospital, visit