Name: Bruce Guarini
Age at time of Dissection: 47
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 23 August 2010
Tell Us Your Story:
My name is Bruce and I’m 49 now, I’ve had a serious run with bad luck. Feb. 2008 in the middle of the night 2am, I felt a sharp pain in my head. Thinking it was a head ache coming on I got up, took two aspirins and went back to bed, only to be awaken by my wife and daughters, they realized something was wrong. I was paralyzed from the waist down, so my daughters called the paramedics. Next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital 2 days after surgery, a Endovascular Coiling with a 95% success rate. A Brain Aneurysm? I had no idea of what this was till my family explained to me how I had just cheated death. After spending 3 weeks in the hospital they ran some tests on me only to discover that I was one of the 5% of people that this procedure wouldn’t help” So with my luck 4 months later I was back in the hospital where this time a Surgical Clipping was performed, with a cut from ear to ear and 6 months of recovery, it was successful. I started looking after myself lost 45
lbs and started going for long walks.
August 2010 at 5:00am before going to work I took our family dog out for a walk, when I got back to the house I felt something awkward in my chest, which then started to turn into pain in my lower back. I made it to the couch only to become paralyzed from the waist down, once the paramedics arrived they couldn’t figure what was happening till my wife explained how 2 years earlier I had suffered the Brain Aneurysm. That’s when they rushed me to the hospital where I received an Aortic Dissection (descending) the surgeon said it was the worst he had ever seen, because after sewing in the stent to replace my Aorta they couldn’t get my heart to start up again. This was when they realized that I also required a double bypass. The surgeons first words to me when I came to was “I don’t know why your here or how, but you should have died that day, this was the worst case i have ever seem. Not many people cheat death twice”. After this I went through a state of depression for about two months wondering “why me”.
It was after a visit with my family doctor that got me back down to earth, his words where this “you are better off than someone who hasn’t been sick a day in his life. You now have multiple doctors looking after you and we know your weaknesses, where as if something were to happen to that healthy person, they might not be so lucky”. I am now great full for everything I have, each and every day to me is a bonus, I make the most of every breath I breath and am very thankful to my wife, daughters, family and friends that have supported me. Oh ya I’m not out of the woods, my Ascending Aorta is weak with a good chance it may rupture and my Aortic Valve has a slight leak. The doctors got me on blood thinners for my blood pressure and Metroprolol to slow down my heart and keep pressure off my ascending Aorta. Some of the side effects today are bad headaches, constantly tired, every once in a while my vision gets blurry, I get a sharp pain in my chest (with this my arm and top of my head goes numb for about 3 to 5 minutes. I guess better this than the alternative.