Name: Richard Matson
Age at time of Dissection: 66
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 19 July 2006
Tell Us Your Story:

Iam a retired United Methodist pastor, who suffered an aortic dissection in 2006. My wife and I were dining out. While in the men’s room I suffered an extreme pain in my back. Somehow I made it out to the entrance area on my own. An ambulance was called and they took me to the Meijer Heart Clinic at Spectrum Health in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Here I was diagnosed as having the AD. Surgery was ruled out as being too dangerous, as my heart had stopped twice and I had to be “paddled” back to life. I was released from the hospital 34 days later and spent another 29 days in cardiac rehab therapy at Clark Retirement Community. The doctor there suggested I might have another 18 months to live.

That was over five years ago. Thanks to the teams at Spectrum’s Meijer Heart Center and Clark Retirement I now live as active a life as my other health issues allow. They tell me my aortic aneurysm has expanded to 7.6 centimeters in diameter. However, I have no feelings, symptoms, or pain related to the cardio-thoracic mechanism.

My family and I discussed surgery with a cardio-thoracic surgeon this summer, but we ruled it out as having too many negative side effects. Thus, I accept each new day as a gift from God and enjoy it to the fullest.

Thank you for this web site. It is extremely helpful and encouraging.

Richard L. Matson

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