Francis Proost’s Grandmother-86

Dear Brian,

After hours of searching on the internet I visited your site.

My name is Francis Proost and I live in Lisse, The Netherlands.

In 2004, my then 86 years old mother called me in the middle of the night, that she was suffering of a terrible pain at her back (between the shoulder blades) and that she had called 911 herself already.

Immediately I got into my car to drive to her in Amsterdam (about 30 minutes from where I live).

To make a very long story a short one, after laying at the Emergency for at least 8 hours (!) still in much pain, she got hospitalized and diagnosed dissection of the aorta.

After 2 days laying at intensive care, the doctor called me that my mom would die within a day. My brother and I called the priest and we said goodbye to my mom (she was not aware of all this).

(The dissection was from just under her chest till her upper legs and the doctor told us that the rupture was too large and her age (risk) too high to get operated, so they just left it).

A wonder happened, she ‘woke up’ and after an other week at the IC, they moved her with other patients on a regular ward.

She stayed for 2 months in the hospital. Had to learn to walk and eat again. Was very weak.

Then she stayed at an old-folks home in my village for another 8 months to recover.

Now, at age 92 she is living by herself again in Amsterdam at the first floor (no elevator), and she is feeling fine!!!!

She takes medication to keep the blood pressure down.

Now my question. My mother really would like to make a cruise (Spain, Greece, Italy). But to go on such a cruise you must fly by plane to Spain where you get on the ship. When we ask the cardiologist if there are risks if she goes on an airplane, his answer always sounds like: sure…………….. (you are already that old, who cares….).

Of course I know she has most of her life behind her, but my mom just does not want to take a risk, neither am I.

Do you know if there are risks?

I surely hope you can answer me, because if the answer is yes, we can forget about this trip.

Thank you very much and I hope you will forgive me that my English is so poor.


Francis Proost

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  1. Toni Stratos

    My mother was just diagnosed with aortic dissection. The prognosis is so dim. She is 88 years old and with alot of life ahead of her. The doctors say that she is too old for surgery and will either have another episode tomorrow or next year or never. We are so fearful about her future. We are told to watch her blood pressure and keep her calm. We else should we do?
    Her daughter

  2. Jo Ann Walker

    My 83 year old husband suffered severe back pain on March 21st.
    Type B Aortic dissection was diagnosed at the
    Emergency Clinic. He spent 12 days in ICU, another day in the hospital and then sent to rehad. He was “too old” for surgery and is being treated by keeping blood pressure low.

    I was not satisfied with conditions at the rehab faciity after only a matter of hours. He had become disoriented and confused during hspitalization and the rehad facility did not seem to be prepared for that. He is making it well at home with the help of Home Health personell.

    My question is , “How long will I have hime with me?”. We have been married 65 years.
    Thanks for any response.

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