Name: Richard Ives
Age at time of Dissection: 63
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 23 March 2010
Tell Us Your Story:
On March 23rd,2010 I was having coffee with a close friend a retired Navy Chief at the restaurant at the South Bend Regional Airport. We finished drinking our coffee, walked through the building to the east exit where we stopped and chatted. Chief exited out the east end I walked back to another exit, left the building crossed the street to my car where I retrieved my laptop from the trunk of my car started back across the street and that is when the back pain/chest pain hit me and in my mind I knew I was probably in trouble.
I walked to where a safety officer was standing, set next to him and struck up a conversation. After a few minutes he stated he was going inside the building. Knowing the pain was not going away I asked him not to leave me and he said ” Why you having problems” which I stated “Yes”. This set in place a chain of events that resulted in a 43 day hospital stay. I would love to tell the rest of the story but this window keeps rolling to where I can not observe what I am typing.
More to come……
Continuing on with my story.
Upon being informed that an ambo was en-route I laid down upon the sidewalk trying to find a comfortable position. The time was approximately 11:45 AM on March 23rd on a relative nice spring day. I remember being loaded into the ambo, signing a form and the first mile of the ride to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana.
My next recall of time was Saturday March 27th when I started becoming coherent . I opened my eyes to my daughter who came up thanks to my younger sister from Georgia telling me “I’m here Dad”. My wrists where tied to the sides of the bed, at the time I did not know why, and really did not care why.
When I started becoming coherent is when I was told “You are a MIRACLE”.
The surgeon Dr. Michael Steinberg of CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY PC began explaining what had happened and why the surgery. It was not until I received his critique of the surgery did I begin to understand the term “MIRACLE” that I was still alive.
In a nut shell I learned that my aorta dissected. The aorta started dissecting from a tear in the intima in the ascending aorta.
The surgeons report stated “ CT scan revealed a type 1 aortic dissection with intimal flap that extended from the aortic root all the way down to the iliac vessels. There was complete occlusion of my right iliac artery”, this resulted in a fem-fem bypass to save my leg, a surgery preformed by a vascular surgeon. “The dissection flap extended into the left carotid artery into the left subclavian artery and into the superior mesenteric artery”.
The surgeon started at my heart where he had to resuspend the aortic valve, install a Hemashield graft tack down the intima, bioglue is a wonderful invention , and a whole lot of other miracles.
With all this stated there is minimal damage to me mentally and physically.
To further add to the excitement I added pneumonia and a Trac tube which was not removed until I was moved to a specialty hospital where I received P.T., O.T..Respiratory and speech therapies.
This was my adventure one week before retiring from as a journeyman inside wireman electrician.
There is NO WAY I can begin to THANK all the peoples involved in the saving of my Life.
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