Name: Darrell Adkins
Age at time of Dissection: 52
Type of Dissection: Both Ascending and Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 10 January 2010
Tell Us Your Story:

I was a high school basketball referee, played weekly and underwent regular checkups, stress tests, etc as I was a Security Police Officer. I was in the top 10 in all the health tests. I had no warning whatsoever and no one in my family had anything like this happen to them. One morning I was at home and my wife had put on a pot of vegetable soup.

We sat down and drafted our will which we had put off forever, It had snowed and I had my truck at the top of the hill. It was clearing so I went to get the truck. As I pulled in front of the house I felt this horrendous pain in my chest and back, I laid on the horn and started screaming to my wife heart attack 911, heart attack 911. The ambulance couldn’t get to me so they came in a 4 wheel drive truck. They were trying to figure how to get me to the truck and the pain was so bad I said get out of my way I’ll get to the truck. The driver had to put my head in his lap as I was bent over in pain. They got me to the ambulance and told me to lie on the bed. I said I couldn’t and they said the ambulance would not move until I did.

When I laid down I lost all feeling in my left leg. By the time I got to the hospital I had no feeling in either leg. They rushed me to do a CT scan. Next thing I remember I was in a room and just hoping my son got there before I died. A doctor came into the room and said It is not a heart attack it is an aortic dissection and the worst I have ever seen. I was given my last rights as I had a 2% chance of survival. My family got there as well as my son and I was ok with dying. I told each of them what I wanted them to do and I was sorry they couldn’t go with me. We started praying and then this guy walked into the room and said hello I am Dr George Pleagus and I am going to save this mans life. 9 1/2 hours of surgery later I am being pushed down a corridor and I asked the guy is this heaven he said no its the hospital.

I said are we going to surgery and he said you are going to recovery. I said you mean I lived? he said yes so I said pinch me. I was in the hospital for a week the first time but kept losing weight I couldn’t keep anything down. I had lost the use of one kidney and one of my stints blocks the blood flow to my left arm. After several months and the loss of about 50 lbs, I was 175 when it happened, I changed my kidney doctor because I was told the one I had over medicated (I was on 16 pills) My new doctor checked on me in the hospital, I had been there a week she immediately said I had thrush and began the treatment. (changed my med to 4 pills) I started gaining my weight and eating almost immediately.

I was off work for 6 months, it has been four years now and I play am back playing basketball, my left arm still gets weak if I use it too much but I can play golf, fish (No cranking) etc. I have memory problems since the surgery and was recently diagnosed with Cerebral Amaloid Angopathy (brain bleeds). I don’t think I will be able to work much longer as it affects my work. I am truly blessed to be here. I have not changed my diet (I know I should) I now weigh 175 most of it in front of me. I recently had a beautiful granddaughter named Kyliana who just started crawling. I thank God for allowing me the time I have had here and although I hope to live many more years I am ready when it is my time. Remember only God knows when you will get the opportunity to meet his son so keep your head up and enjoy life.