Name: keith hudgens
Age at time of Dissection: 57
Type of Dissection: Both Ascending and Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 29 December 2014
Tell Us Your Story:

Iwas on the computer that night. I took a sip of my drink and then it felt like I was being kicked in the chest. I had severe pain and could not catch my breath. I thought I was having a heart attack because I had had double by-pass surgery two years prior. I woke my wife and had her drive me to the hospital, 15 minutes away. They placed me in the triage. By now I could feel the tearing moving to my abdomen. They did a CT scan and determined I had a type 1 aortic dissection.

The young ER Dr. was on two phones trying to find a location for treatment. UF Shands said they could take me. Dr Thomas Martin and team were standing by. It was too foggy to airlift me, so the Dr gave the EMT a bag of blood and a bag of morphine and said if you can get him there they are ready. 90 minutes later I was on the table. Dr Martin led a prayer and they began. My wife told me about the prayer. I was out 15 minutes into the ambulance ride.

The surgery lasted 13 hrs. They gave me a Florida sleeve, a Dacron graft and inserted a stent. I was in ICU for 3 weeks. My wife made a 2 hr drive every day to be with me. During my recovery I suffered mini-strokes and damage to my C1 C2 spinal cord.

I was the sent to a skilled nursing center to wean me from my Tracheostomy. Then I was sent back to my hometown to Brooks ReHab.
I blacked out several times and had to have a Pace-maker.

It’s now been 10 months, I’m back at work and feeling stronger everyday.
However, I am a lot more weepier. I can’t watch a sad movie or hear a said story. People have commented that God has plans for you. I thought about it and I agree. God wants me to be with my wife and make her happy. He answered her prayers.