Name: Kenneth Lucas
Age at time of Dissection: 50
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 16 August 2011
Tell Us Your Story:

I was working the night shift in a well known grocery store chain. I worked alongside my wife when I started having chest pain along with pain in my left arm. I began perspiring profusely and felt nauseated. My wife had me sit down, and she immediately called 911, fearing that I was suffering a stroke. Paramedics assessed me at the scene and then transported me to the hospital, just minutes away. After a CT scan, I was taken into emergency surgery. After many attempts to repair the aortic dissection, the surgeons were successful.

My chest was left open for about 24 hours to insure I was free of any infection. When I finally woke up, I realized I was left with a severe case of footdrop. The doctors told me that was common with descending aortic dissection, due to lack of blood flow to the lower extremities. Doctors told me later that in another 2 minutes after the dissection I would not have survived. While I’m thankful for everything they did for me, my quality of life has suffered greatly because of the foot drop.

I now walk with the aid of a cane, and cannot stand or walk for long periods. I have since had an artificial aortic valve, aortic root, and implantable cardiac defifrillator installed.