Name: guerdon smith
Age at time of Dissection: 64
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 2 March 2015
Tell Us Your Story:

In the middle of the night I experienced the most painful event I have ever had without blacking out. I knew if I lost awareness it would be over and there were still lives to embrace. After vomiting quietly so as not to wake my wife, I crawled back into bed, which woke her up. She wanted to know if I needed anything. I asked for a hot water bottle. Instead I used a bag of cherry pits which had been microwaved. I believed this saved my life, because the pain was reduced and I could concentrate on my breathing and Gods’ love. We decided to go to the medicenter the next day “just to be safe”.

She thought a walk would help before we went there I tried to follow her lead, but after a few blocks I knew whatever had happened had used up my body power, so we headed for the clinic. It was closed. I decided to go home and lay low until the next day. The next day we went to my Doctor, who I see every five years. He asked me to describe my condition, I didn’t get to finish when he said I was describing a major heart attack. He was disappointed that I hadn’t called him at home on Sunday night. I told him I didn’t think I should bother him,and the reason I loved him was that he cared enough to be mad. We immediately went to ER. He had called ahead telling them that I was having a heart attack, and to expedite me through.

Three hours later I was in a room with a M.D. I have since found out that you need to tell them you are in acute pain to be taken seriously. I was in ICU for ten days with every possible test done. It was the head of the Heart Section who told me they couldn’t help me further. I takes a great Surgeon to send you another hospital. If you read the statistics on A.D. You know I should have been dead. They dumped me into an ambulance and shipped me to the Stanford Teaching Hospital, a six hour trip. I looked at my records and they said I was delusional, but I could see the sadness in the surgeons face.

My job as I saw it now was to be the best patient. I greeted the new crew at Cardiac ICU,with good cheer. I asked The Head Guy” Are you any good at this?”. A stunned silence fell over the crew of ten specialists. He said “Yeah pretty good.” “Let’s do it then” I said.

Eight hours later I was assembled, but I had to go back for another three hours cleanup. Then I was in ICU for several weeks till I was well enough to be released. Now I am at home and getting better slowly. My goal is to be the poster child for healthy recovery. Note, no one does this alone. My Wife NEVER thought I wouldn’t make it. The caregivers never told us anything negative. For this I am grateful, when I am asked what happened, I tell them that I had Aortic Dissection and then smile at my good fortune. Best wishes, Guerdon