JIM STERNOWSKI-67 (told by friend)

Age at time of Dissection: 67
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 17 May 2012
Tell Us Your Story:

This is the story of one of my best friends. He cannot tell it. Started at 12:30 pm, Wednesday the 16th, 2012, and went into the 17th. At 67 he was the vision of health and condition. No blood pressure, nor cholesterol nor any prescribed medication (pills). He took care of himself. At lunch he felt a sharp pain in his ear which led down his neck…took an aspirin. He then felt light headed, went to the nurse. His BP was 70/40.

Went to the local ER where after hours of testing he was finally diagnosed with a dissected aorta. Specialist called in. After discussion with my friend and his wife determined surgery was only option particularly after surgeon told them that, “…got it in time….90% successful….” Went into surgery at 9:30 pm Wednesday evening. After 13 hours of surgery my friend passed away. Wife was told the aorta walls were too thin to hold a stitch, etc. Less than 24 hours from start to finish. My friend’s wife will meet with the surgeon today to find out more. His wife, his family and I have never heard of this before.

This is surreal. The question all are asking is how can this happen to an individual who really,since we were teens, took care of himself: ate the right food, took the right vitamins, excercised, rode a bike for miles at a time, lifted weights. At the hospital, my friends wife was asked, ” Are you sure your husband is 67?”

Thanks for listening.


Anthony Huskey-38


Lloyd Jones-51


  1. Julie Schumacher

    Dear Jim’s friend~

    Thank you for sharing his story. I have been reading all the success stories on here of aortic dissections and was told that most never make it to a hospital. My 51 year old brother died in August of 2011 of a Type A aortic dissection and it was all very surreal for my family and me—it still is… and I still have many questions.

  2. bill

    My dad at age 67 went in for pulmonary valve replacement and triple bypass surgery June 12,2012. A congenital condition he had his valve replaced 10 yrs prior to surgery. His prognosis without the surgery was a year or so to slowly die. He took th option to live and have the surgery. As far as what needed fixed, the doctor did fix the valve and blocked arteries, however while taking him off of bypass machine his aorta dissected. The aorta was like tissue paper and would not hold stitches and after 12 hours of surgery he died. I am in so much pain over the loss of my dad who was my best friend and mentor to the family. My hope is that they can develop a better system for this deadly problem. Good luck to you all and my prayers are with you all.

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