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Father and son team-up for life-saving surgeries at Froedtert Hospital

Posted: 11:48 AM, Nov 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-12 17:48:09Z

MILWAUKEE -- At Froedtert Hospital, you'll find Dr. Lyle Joyce. A world-renowned heart surgeon, he was the first doctor to perform an artificial heart transplant.

Dr. Joyce specializes in a surgery known as PTE, which helps remove blood clots from arteries and lungs.  It's such a rare procedure, only about a dozen doctors in the nation do it. Luckily, a team of two works at Froedtert., a duo of heart surgeons with a heart-warming tie.

The surgeons are father and son.

“There is nothing that could be more enjoyable and exhilarating than to work simultaneously side by side with David,” said Dr. Lyle Joyce.

Dr. David Joyce had had his heart set on the specialty since he was a small child.

“Did you ever imagine you would be performing surgeries with your father?,” asked Elise Preston with TODAY'S TMJ4.

“I remember always dreaming about it, but the probability was minimal. It takes 20 years almost to train as a cardio surgeon the odds of being able to intersect was pretty small,” replied Dr. Joyce.

That chance now a reality, where work can get a little personal.

“My parents live adjacent to where our house is.  So we carpool to the hospital and my father and I have an opportunity to talk through the challenging cases we're going to have,” said Dr. David Joyce.

While most of us may not understand, all the challenges that come with heart surgery, Dr. Joyce says its just like dance or football. Where this team of father and son has been able to practice and run plays both on and off the field.

“I'm just trying to keep up with the rhythm of the offense,” said Dr. David Joyce.