Personal Stories: Chip Hurdle

November 24, 2003 was a day I will remember forever. I was on my way to work and had a terrible stomach ache. My back was also hurting. I stayed at work for 3 hours suffering cold sweats, stomach ache and back ache. I finally went home and saw my family doctor. He could not find anything wrong, but scheduled a CAT SCAN later that week. After two days of waiting for the CAT SCAN, I drove myself to the emergency room where they performed a CAT SCAN and immediately rushed me to Baptist East Hospital in Memphis. I was diagnosed as having an Aortic Dissection on the descending side. I was put on meds to control my blood pressure. I stayed on meds until I developed 5 aneurysms on my descending aorta and had an enlarged aortic root.

The aneurysms grew in size until July 26, 2005. At that time it was decided to operate on the aneurysms behind my heart. My surgeon, Dr. Russ Carter, God Bless his soul, performed a miracle of a surgery.

He went in through my rib cage and inserted 15 inches of dacron tubing inside my descenting aorta. I faced being paralyzed from the waist down if the blood to my spine was severed. Everything went fine and I recovered completely.

In January 2006 I had my second surgery in my stomach area and down both legs. Again, a dacron tube was inserted into my aorta and down into both legs. The second surgery turned out to be the worst one. I had complications with my intestines. Anyway, after a couple of weeks in the hospital, I went home to recover. My enlarged aortic root grew in size and on August 22, 2006 I had my third and hopefully final surgery.

The ascending aorta just below the arch was removed and replaced with yet some more dacron tubing. Dr. Carter was just before closing up my chest when my ascending aorta sprung a leak. He had to replace my aortic valve with a mechanical valve. I still have not gotten used to hearing my heart make so much noise! I am hear today as a survivor and wish to tell every other survivor to be patient and thank GOD for providing us with competent doctors and nurses. Without the concern they provide and this internet site, it would be a much longer road to cover for us survivors

Thanks Brian! Chip Hurdle – Collierville, TN