Name: Ron Koch
Age at time of Dissection: 58
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 10 August 2012
Tell Us Your Story:

My dad was an unlucky victim of a descending aortic dissection. I am telling his story, because he unfortunately died just a day after he was diagnosed with this. I am his daughter Katie and attend college in Missouri. At the age of 20 I lost my father to this horrible diagnosis.

I will never forget that weekend. I feel like that it was just yesterday. I was at work Friday night calling my dad a whole bunch of times to tell him that I got my keys to my new apartment. I was so excited to be finally moving in. He never answered but he soon called me back and left a message on my phone. My dad and I talked almost every day while I have been at college. I would say that I am a daddy’s girl, always was one. He left me a voicemail and I soon called him back, and we talked about my new apartment and I told him that I would call him tomorrow, because I was at work. I wish that I knew that would be the last time I would ever talk to him on the phone.

That night he was woken up by some severe chest pain and horrible back pain. He has surgery on his back years ago and I think that is what he thought was wrong with him. He even drove himself to the hospital that night. I woke up to a text message from my brother to call him. I thought that was unusual because I never talk to him. I called him and he told me that there was something wrong with his aorta and that I shouldn’t worry about it. That he has a 90% chance of survival. That he would be fine and not to make the drive down to the hospital. I was about 2 hours away and being studying in the health science field, I just knew something was not right and so of course I made the drive down there.

I woke up my whole family that was back where I lived and told them to get to the hospital. My parents were divorced, so they did not know yet. I told my mom what my brother told me and something did not seem right. Of course I was right and my mom told me I needed to get there as soon as I can. Once I got to the hospital they pulled my sister and I aside and told us that he had a descending aorta dissection and that it was very serious. He was in the ICU when I finally got to the hospital to see him. His left Kidney was already gone from the lack of blood to it. They also could not do surgery because it was so severe, if they opened him up he would of died immediately. We were told to sit and wait and hopefully his blood pressure would stabilize. They sedated him that night.

The next morning which was Sunday changed my life forever. I got the worst phone call of my life. This time it was my sister calling me telling me dad was doing really bad and I needed to get to the hospital. I was crying so hard at that point my sister put my mom on the phone. The first thing I asked her was “Is my father going to die” and she replied back to me “I honestly don’t know Katie”. When I got to the hospital the priest was already there. They gathered us in a room and explained to us what happened over night. Everything from his heart down was completely gone. He had no function anywhere and gang green already set in. We were told to decide if we wanted to take him off life support we could.

As a family we decided that he would not want to live as a vegetable and was going to die either way. We took him off of everything and he passed within minutes. He was already gone. On August 12, 2012 my dad was taken away from me. He was an amazing father and I miss him so much. My whole family and I now have to get yearly CT scans, because we are all tall and it is possible that we could suffer from it too. I am still dealing with the loss of my father and sometimes don’t know how life will go on. Losing my father at my age definitely showed me a new look on life. I value every single second I have with my loved one. I know this story was long, but I think that everyone should be aware of this. If you have any questions or anything at all please feel free to email me.