Brian Udell-50

Name: Brian Udell
Age at time of Dissection: 50
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 30 November 2013
Tell Us Your Story:

I had a Type A/1 Aortic Dissection as a result of an ejection from an F-15E 18 years earlier. In 1995 I survived a Supersonic Ejection from an F-15E Strike Eagle. During the ejection my body experienced over 45G’s during the deceleration. The G forces weakened my Aorta and it went undetected for 18 years. On November 30, 2013 I was working out when I encountered a sharp pain in my chest. The pain was very isolated and felt as if my heart was tearing apart.

Fortunately I was within 3 miles of a Top Rated Cardiac Hospital and the Surgeon that was on call is rated as one of the best in the world. I was diagnosed after an MRI and ECG and rushed into emergency surgery. The procedure lasted 10 hours and I was in the hospital for 9 days. The Aortic valve through the arch has been replaced with Bovine material and reinforced with grafts. I am doing fine now and have no pain or symptoms.

I have no family history of heart disease or high blood pressure. Mine was a result of an extreme injury caused from an aircraft accident. It should have killed me at the time of the accident. My heart was never checked for possible damage at that time and so it went undiagnosed. It took 18 years before it failed. The lesson for this story is if you are involved in a serious accident that imparted high G-Forces to the body it might warrant being checked for a possible dissection. Rapid deceleration forces will cause the Aorta to tear.

1 Comment

  1. Brian, good to hear that you are doing well. The fact that you experienced a punch out in those conditions is amazing. Obviously you were in one of the armed forces at the time. Thank you for the service to your country.

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