Jeff Edralin-43

Name: Jeff Edralin
Age at time of Dissection: 43
Type of Dissection: Both Ascending and Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 6 May 2012
Tell Us Your Story:

I‘ve always been healthy and outgoing guy. I love to play and joke around, ride motorcycles, sports cars, and fly planes. I worked for San Mateo Sheriff’s department.
But during Sept 2011 – May 2012 I had a tremendous amount of stress with internal harassment’s on my job, which completely stole my joy. I began having difficulty sleeping at night, had night terrors, was drinking Pepto-Bismol for stomach upset and broke down crying 3 times! This was so not like me!

Then on May 6th, while bowling with my family, I felt severe pain in my back, between my shoulder blades. I yelled, “Call 911, something is wrong”. I am a CPR instructor and I knew the heart beat in my neck felt like a gush of blood, not a normal flow! I was rushed by ambulance to the ER where I was worked up for a heart attack. My blood pressures were high, but my EKG and Cardiac enzymes were normal.

It took 7 hours and a cardiac catherization for this hospital to finally understanding that my Aorta was dissecting all the way down my body. The KEY was in a test called DDIMER (mine was 1300!). Once the Cardiac Catherization camera saw the dissecting wall of my aorta, I was rushed emergently to Stanford where I was immediately taken to a 10 hour surgery to save my life. The doctors gave me less than 50% chance of survival – because I am only 43 and in otherwise good health.

My wife, waited, cried and prayed as physicians replaced six inches of my Aortic arch. I suffered a stroke as a result of the surgery which was determined to be “embolic” in nature, but continued to hemorrhage during the next two weeks post-surgery. I stopped talking, swallowing, and being able to control my bowels. Physicians said my response to the anesthesia and subsequent ICU stay was as if I had PTSD….given my work stressors, I am certain of it. The psychiatrists ask if I had been in Afghanistan in the Military because I was fighting and acting out so horribly. I don’t remember the ICU now.

God spared my life for a purpose! I spent four weeks in ICU on a vent, and was readmitted to the hospital three times during the next 4 months. I had fevers in the weeks to follow. Doctors thought it could be fevers trying to break down the blood clots in the false lumen of my aorta, or I was possibly septic. Scary times! Then I was readmitted again on week six for dehydration as I have not had the ability to swallow without choking. The stroke has left me unable to move with any speed at all, unable to articulate my thoughts, and with decreased blood flow to one kidney now, my blood pressures are difficult to control.

Damn hospitals trying to get you out too soon! I now have permanent brain damage hindering my rehabilitation and recovery. I am unable to return to work as my brain remains unmotivated, emotionally flat, and unable to process thoughts. Recover is uncertain, but doctors are confident that I am young and strong and will eventually overcome. It is noteworthy that I do not have any heart blockages, no high cholesterol, and my heart valves work perfectly. There is no identifiable reason for my A.D. other than episodic stress induced high blood pressure.
I ask that you PLEASE help my wife. She needs positive attitudes, encouragement, and I could really use visits and phone calls from my friends and family.

The encouragement helps me get out of bed most days.


Thomas Krug-58


Nicole Winstead’s Father-71


  1. Susan, Jeff's Wife

    7-6-2012 Jeffrey is still recovering from the Stroke and lost a total of 35 lbs. The physician notes say he is STANFORD type A dissection affecting ascending and decending. His only contibuting factor is STESS induced high blood pressure

  2. Jill Schreiber

    Susan and Jeff,
    I too suffered a STANDFORD type A, but also a Type B! I am a survivor. It took me more than a year to regain most of my normal life! There is hope! I too was young…48 when my dissection occured. I had my right aortic arch replaced as well as my entire Aorta from top to bottom into my illiac arteries. I have had 6 other arteries totally replaced with grafts, and have 2 stents. I suffered compartment syndrome in my right leg, and have lost feeling and movement in that leg from the knee down. They did save my leg though! I lost about 45 pounds, but have successfully gained every pound back! The weight loss is just his body’s way of trying to heal itself. Stress is a huge factor of dissections, I too did not have high blood pressure or any other “signs” that I might be at risk. Please hang in there…things do get better….it’s never normal…but the new normal is better than no normal. Family and friends are a huge part of recovery. You will have ups and downs….gather strength from each other. If there is any time you would like to “vent”…please contact me….my email is…, sometimes it’s best just to talk to another person who has had the same experience!:) Hang in there!! God Bless…..

  3. Michael Moyer

    I posted my the link above to my story, which is not much diferent from yours. I did not experience any stroke symptoms, you will get through that…

    I too had acsending and decending AD the entire length of the aorta. I also had the aortic valve replaced with a St Jude mechanical. September 30 2012 will be the 2 year annivesary of my second life.

    Stress was most likely, by the Dr’s opinion, a major contributing factor to my AD. As mentioned in the link, I had an annual physical 2 weeks prior to the event. I was living through a difficult 5 year divorce process, the economy had tanked, and maybe my cat died… was for me a period of stress that affected my health. A friend said to me after that I was going through alot of Stuff and he wondered how I had managed: my aorta did not. He reminded me that Still Waters Run Deep.

    Depression was an issue for about a year. When I spoke to my cardiologist about it he looked me straight in the eye and said, “given what you have been through you should be depressed”. He referred me to a Pscych and addressed the issues…..the meds do not create instant happiness, but do remove a portion of dread and foreboading. The year and half after the AD was DIFFICULT.

    I was weak physically. I was not able to focus well on tasks. It took time to get well. My Dr said it would take me a year to feel “normal” and it was about 15 months. I feel great now. It Takes Time….GET WELL SOON

  4. Daniel Enriquez

    Hello, I just wanted to congratulate you on surviving. I too was 43 when I suffered an acute type a and type B disection. Nobody has aclue what it feels like but another survivor. Like you I had been under intense stress for the previous 6 months prior to the AD. I too sufferred a stroke 6 months after the AD. It left me with memory issues and numness on my right forearm and palm. Yes things do suck at the begining but they get better. Concentrate on healing for now and the slowly start doing physical stuff as your body and the Docs allow. If I can be of assistance e-mail me. Good Luck, and get better.

  5. Susan

    Jeffrey is still unable speak 7 months after his dissection. The aorta his working well, but the ability to communicate is still missing. He has lost 65 lbs and his muscles are deteriorating. We really need good news.

  6. wouldn’t physical therapy help with the muscle issue?

  7. and speech therapy

  8. Susan

    Kaiser graduated him from both saying it was now his home responsibility to motivate him. He remains brain damaged without emotional responses or motivation. While he can speak, he does not. While he can walk, he sleeps.

  9. and try anti-depressants until you get something that works

  10. Susan

    One year anniversary has came and went now. Jeffrey’s stroke has been determined to be a result of undetectable emboli causing damage to his brain. He remains unmotivated and unable to have conversations still sleeping 15 or more hours a day.

  11. Susan

    One and half years later, Jeffrey continues to suffer from the stroke and isyou unable to initiate conversation. MERRY CHRISTMAS fellow AD members.

  12. Susan

    We are nearing the 2nd year anniversary and Jeffrey remains unable to carry a conversation but shows slight improvement. we are seeking treatment for his inability to communicate. We have learned that 40 percent of all A.D. cases are preceded by SEVERE emotional distress (like learning your spouse has cancer, or someone close has died, or ….). We have also learned that normal hearts, with normal valves can accompany AD. This is a terrible situation….and we can’t even call it a disease without genetic factors!
    Thanks for being a resource site.

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