Category: Aortic Dissection Page 21 of 22

Miracle Lady survives an AorticDissection

I got this alert from my Google notifications about a women who experienced and AD while giving birth to her child. It’s a terrible outcome for the baby, but the mother survived and was able to keep going forward with her life.  The story is here and it’s a great outcome for her. What’s interesting is that they show a Type B dissection in the story, when it appears to actually be a type A, requiring emergency surgery. I actually agree with the doctor that there’s few cases under the ages of 30, but… they are out there and I have documented them on my website as well. Those can be found here along with many other AD stories.

I feel so fortunate to be alive today thanks to Dr. James Brevig and the staff at Providence Everett General Hospital in Everett, WA. And, I am so thankful to the ER room for being able to catch it!

God Bless,

Brian Tinsley

Back to work… Getting back into the swing of things!

Well, it’s back to work for me.. finally, after being laid off on 5/2/2008, I landed my first day on the job with Global Crossing on 10/20/2008. I really like the company so far and the people are great! It’s nice to be in a much smaller company than BIG BROTHER VERIZONBUSINESS. I am so happy to have a job at such a great place. The being out of the work realm was a bit tough to get back used to. I am still struggling a bit to try and stay focused. I am getting better and better each week. I also got my first paycheck and just in the nick of time!

I had my review of my Echo-Cardiogram that was done back in May/08 of this year. My doctor said that everything looked fine, still small leaking in the valves due to my “genetic” make up of a deformed bicuspid valve since birth. The nurse checked my BP and and it was 140/71. The my doctor checked it about 10 minutes later and it was 176/78. I told him that I was going to get my weight down from 212 to under 200lbs and that I would do it by Jan 1st, 2009. He said that I needed more BP meds and now I am going to be taking a pill at night. It sucks having high BP…it really does! I am on so many medications as it is, granted I take them about every 3 days on average, I need to get on the daily program – which I am going to do! I am also going to get my Excel weight charts and BP charts, put them on the bathroom walls and get focused about getting this BP thing down. We also discussed that I could go to 1 Echo per year and I told him about my CT/Angio’s and how Dr. Liang thought going to MRI’s would be less radiation for me. He seemed to agree. I also had a blood test for him to review and my hope is that my cholesterol is OK and I don’t have to go on meds for that!

Take care!

Monday… A new fresh week… possibilities are endless!

I love this beautiful picture of a ladybug. She’s just relaxing there on her leaf and doesn’t have any cares or worries. It seems to parallel our lives sometimes. We’d do wonders to emulate the ladybugs characteristics of calmness in our everyday lives. With school having just started – a week under our belts, things are beggining to settle down.  My offer letter from my new employer is scheduled to arrive this week and I can not wait to get back to working again. There is life after MCI/VerizonBusiness – a better life with endless opportunities and destinations! Like this ladybug, if she’s not content with where she happens to have landed, she can choose to move to a different leave and start again.  We can do the same thing in our daily lives. As an aortic dissection survivor, once you have literally come back from the dead and now see the world through a new lens, it’s amazing the real beauty that you can find. Why did it take a near death experience to ignite the true pleasure that life has to offer each and every one of this. Do you think Jesus Christ put on this earth to live in misery? Do you think we were put on this earth to have a “free ride” ?  I don’t believe so, each day is a mini life in itself and we need to break it down that way. Take each day one step, one breath, one praise at a time.  After surviving an aortic dissection,  you begin to really realize that you are given a certain number of days on this earth that GOD will allow you to live here. Each day is like a new flower spreading it’s leaves and growing a bit, and it eventually becomes a beautiful piece of art work. It’s being able to see the beauty in each day. Everyday that we have on this earth is a chance to make sure that we tell our loved ones… hey… I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! And to make sure that they know you are there for them unconditionally.

I know that I am personally so grateful to my LORD AND SAVIOR- JESUS CHRIST for everything that he’s given me. I most of all appreciate his dying on the cross and shedding his blood for me. He died for you and he died for me. It’s a free gift and it’s something that EVERYONE should be thankful for!

May JESUS CHRIST come into your heart and fill you with his love, peace and joy!


Thanks to GOD and his son Jesus Christ for their continued miracles!

I found this picture after reading and article today about a surgeon who had performed a three heart valve surgery  on a patient. The patient was only 44 years of age. After reading the article, I researched the surgeon, Dr. David Jayakar, MD and found his website. I really and truly believe that these surgeons, who literally have the ability with the help of Jesus Christ at their side to determine our fate as to a chance to continue on living or literally, having Jesus there to say…. “It’s time for he/she to come home” and I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when Dr. James Brevig was doing my surgery, Jesus was there helping him along with all the prayer requests coming in asking him to guide the surgeons hand in the delicate surgery.  I truly believe that our surgeons are some of the best people we have on this earth.

I received a call this Sunday morning from a man, speaking of miracles, who was giving a toast at his families Thanksgiving dinner. It was then, while standing a sharp stabbing pain hit him like a mac truck and he was sent to the hospital. He just happened to live 5 minutes from Columbia University Hospital. And, the really big miracle was that Dr. Allen Stewart just happened to be there that Thanksgiving evening checking on a patient when this gentlemen of 70+ arrived. Dr. Stewart replaced his valve with a “calf” valve and his entire aorta with a dacron tube. All this without any kidney or other issues. That’s a miracle… A true miracle in which Dr. Stewart’s hands worked through Jesus Christ to keep this man alive and bring him through the surgery to be able to say those perhaps forgotten, “I love you’s” or items her had perhaps neglected to have done.. but now was giving a new appreciation for life.

I am so thankful for my life, my family, my friend and hopefully my new job (this Wednesday is my final interview) and really am so blessed.  Many people don’t make it. Many people are in the right place and the right time.. Or is it that Jesus is there with them and the surgeons? I think it’s your faith and belief that your life is not controlled by you, and that the GOOD LORD is your ONLY choice as to when you will see him face to face or you will be allowed to continue to live a few more years on the earth until you are called home. These surgeons, and although extremely well trained, need that helping hand to guide them and so do you!


August 22nd, 2008 – My 5 year birthday since Aortic Dissection

Well, today is my 5 year anniversary or birthday since my aortic dissection back on 8/22/2008. I remember it as if it were just yesterday. I had started out the day still trying to negotiate this “semi-wrecked” motorcycle and how much I was going to pay for this site unseen bike from my customer who happened to work at Microsoft. Then, I was also trying to line up a truck to pick it up with as well. I had planned to use my other friend at Microsoft (my former customer) truck. On top of that, I was also going to play tennis that next morning at 0700am as well. I was also playing tennis on 8/22/2003 (Friday – most AD’s happen on a this day!) at 4:00pm with my usual buddy Jack. In the meantime, I had went to get some teriyaki lunch (high in sodium) and I know my blood pressure was high as this motorcycle negotiation was consuming my day. Not to mention, I was late for my 4pm tennis match and realized I had forgot my shoes, so I had to return home and grab them and hustle back. I stepped out on the court, played about 2 games and “wham”  that’s when my life changed forever. That’s when you realize that you are not immortal and that the GOOD LORD has a plan for your life and can take you out when he’s ready for you.  I remember that GOD had to be looking over me as my survival was a miracle. My first miracle was that I did not take my partner’s advice and have him drive me to the ER department at 5pm on a Friday afternoon in rush hour traffic. Not to mention, in and AD situation like mine, (Type A), you don’t have time on your side. Had I gone that route, I could have been held up in the ER check in process and waiting in the lobby for all I know. Furthermore, when you ride with the paramedics, they get you through traffic quicker and get you right into a room – at least that’s what happened to me. My second major miracle I would find out 3 years later was that in this same ER department, and the same ER doctor would see a man 54 years of age come through with similar symptoms exactly 40 days before I arrived there and get “miss-diagnosed” for an anxiety attack and essentially die in the ER room from an Type A aortic dissection. They (ER Department) flat out missed the diagnosis. Did they have that heavy on their minds when I arrived? I  was 40 years old and in pretty darn good shape and healthy. I heard the 54 year old man was in good shape as well. What I would later find out is that apparently the last thing that they did was a blood test (possibly a d-dimer) that came back high for a pulmonary imbolism and that’s when I remember being shot down this tube -completely inside it and they were taking pictures of my heart. I just wanted out of there! Next thing, a tall man, my surgeon, Dr. James Brevig would be telling me that I had a 50/50 chance of living due to my aortic dissection and needed surgery right away.

This day is very special to me as it reminds me just how lucky and thankful I am to be alive. It’s been 5 years today and that in and of itself is another major hurdle.  No matter how things might look, and in my case, being laid off on 5/2/2008 – just 6 days short of 20 years, nothing is too bad that can not be overcome with the “FAITH IN GOD” that he’s got you in the palm of his right hand and is your savior. I am absolutely living proof that miracles DO happen.

Speaking of miracles.. I am also about (I believe) to land a new job, I just have one more interview to do next Wednesday and I should get it. How I found out about the opportunity was a fluke, but it turned out to be GOD’S way of using his power to find me the job that he wants me in.

Have a great day! Remember.. you have a lot to be thankful for! Don’t forget it!


A Simple painless test could save your life

I got this news article today titled, “Baby boomers may face a silent killer” and watched the video. This is a great message again to the general public to get an “ultrasound” test done.

Not only should you check for an AAA, you also should request an “echo cardiogram” or a “stress echo” as it’s another very simple test that can reveal a possible issue with your heart and/or ascending aorta.

This stat alone is enough for everyone to get it done quickly!

 Dr. Back says AAA is the 13th leading cause of death. Nine out of 10 patients who have AAA that ruptures will die. However, it may not be deadly if it’s caught early.


My daughter had a photo shoot the other day, check this out! My neighbor is a great photographer if you are anywhere in the Seattle area, I’d recommend him. He’s on my blog roll.

Still hoping to hear something today about the opportunity. I have done everything I can and it’s in their hands and GOD’s.

Have a great day!


Update on News Story about Gene found for detecting Acute Aortic Dissection

I published this post yesterday about a press release that I received about a possible detection of a genetic link to diagnosing an “acute aortic dissection” and after further review and checking around with some of my very well known experts – I am not so sure this isn’t just a bunch of BS!  This has been underway here in the US for a few years and led by one of the top geneticists Dianna M. Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dianna and her team at the Department of Internal Medicine,Division of Medical Genetics,The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston,  have been working on this for quite some time and they published this article –Life-threatening gene defect located by UT-Houston researchers  back in November 11th, 2007.

I also tried to email this person and it didn’t work. I also looked up the hospital and apparently he’s not even known there.

So, it appears that this Mr. Salah Mohamed’s findings are really nothing new and perhaps he himself is a mystery as well.

I am sticking with Dianna’s research. “By the way, you can learn more about the research here “. To find out if you are eligible to participate in the study, send an email to the research program’s genetic counselor at

Brian Tinsley

Good News on Aortic Dissection Front

Today, there’s was a publication released  by Salah A. Mohamed, from the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Schleswig-Holstein released about the Genetic correlation linked to the Acute Aortic Dissection disease.  This is some really positive news and even if it prevents just one death , it’s worth the research. However, after reading this article, the benefits could be enormous! A simple blood test that could save your life! I wrote Salah A. Mohamed an email today asking him for further information on what the name of the blood test will be called? Or how to actually go about ordering it. I will keep you posted just as soon as I hear something.


The day after my Venus Closure Procedure

It’s Saturday am about 0800 and I would usually be at the tennis club playing my 0700-0830am doubles which I have been playing for the last 10+ years!  However, I decided to move forward with my venus closure procedure. My legs are doing pretty good, I am wishing that I didn’t have to wear the ace bandages, the stockings are OK, it’s just that these bandages, one on my left leg and one on my right thigh and calf are kind of tight! Oh well, I will be glad in the long run that I finally got the courage to do this and can walk into Starbucks without thinking everyone is looking at my legs. My left leg was the worst of the two.

I was searching Google this morning and came across what I consider one (if not the most) comprehenisve articles on what exactly is an “aortic dissection” and I believe everyone should read  this.

This picture shows a daron tube being sewn into the arotic wall. There’s also some glue that they use as well. Thanks again to Dr. Debakey! I still to this day (almost 5 years later) can not believe that I was able to survive. Especially against all the odds of having an ascending aortic dissection to begin with. You LITERALLY have to have GOD on your side and the amount of resources that have to come together to pull this surgery off – it’s a monumental effort. In fact, I was reading today, that some surgeon’s (in particular areas) are having a blood shortage (donors) and according to the article have to sometimes contemplate if they can do a surgery based on the amount of blood that will be required for the surgery. I have no idea how much blood it took for my operation, but I imagine a ton. You never stop and really think of those nice people that donate their blood – it’s such a blessing for that critical piece of the surgery!

Here’s some very interesting statistics:

Aortic dissection is the most frequently diagnosed lethal condition of the aorta and occurs nearly three times as frequently as does rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm in the United States.
Hypertension is the mechanical force most often associated with dissection and is found in greater than 75% of cases
As many as 40% of patients suffering acute aortic dissection die immediately
As many as 30% of patients ultimately diagnosed with acute dissection are first thought to have another diagnosis.
Fifty percent of patients suffering acute type A aortic dissection are dead within 48 hours.16 A conventional wisdom has evolved that acute type A dissection carries a “1% per hour” mortality. Newer data, however, reveal a different prognosis such that medical management may be considered in certain high-risk groups. In one such study, type A dissection was managed medically in 28% of patients for various reasons with a 58% in-hospital mortality.17 Regardless, this relatively high mortality demonstrates that patients surviving acute type A dissection must be quickly and aggressively diagnosed and managed

As you can see… I am a very lucky and thankful person to have been given a second chance at life. Not all of us will get that second chance at life – make sure your doing the things now that you might probably would be doing if you had to do it all over again. Don’t rely on a second chance – you might not get it. Be thankful for each day, each breath, each moment – give thanks!

Great Article on Aortic Dissection “Beating A Sudden Killer”

I was contacted a few months back about a young man working on his doctorate degree. He was specializing in the aortic dissection field. He started this website,  and has done a great job on the site. I highly recommend it. I was actually out there myself today and came across an article by Dr. John A. Elefteriades. It was titled, “Beating A Sudden Killer” and I believe it’s a very well written article that everyone should read.  One of the “key” things that weight lifters need to be careful of is heavy lifting when they have the presence of any enlarge aorta due to aneurysm growing inside of them. The intense pressure put on from heavy lifting is just speeding up the process for that aneurysm to blow up or dissect. Both of these conditions are very fatal and should be treated immediately. However, how do you know if you are that weight lifter and that you might have that “something” growing inside of your aorta?  Do you have a history of aneurysms in your family? Do you have a history of aortic dissections? Do you have high blood pressure? All of these questions could help you to determine if you are at risk and should perhaps lay off the “heavy lifting” as it could potentially kill you.  According to this article, only 5% of these aneurysms/dissections are from Marfan’s patients.

I highly recommend reading this article and educating yourself and family about these conditions.

Dr. John A. Elefteriades, M.D., F.A.C.S. can be seen at the Yale School of Surgery. This is also one of the best places to get aortic care.



Famous Soccer Player Dies of AD (Slobo Ilijevski)

I got my AD news today and read this article. Apparently, this “tremendously” talented soccer player died in Bellingham, WA – just an hour away from me. Slobo Ilijevski  died of an aortic dissection and was taken to the near by hospital to try and save him. Unfortunately, it was GOD’S time to call him home. I don’t know this guy from Adam, but I do know that he seem to be in excellent shape and was quite and athlete – and pretty young. This is a tragedy for the family and soccer community. The other major “red light” here should be to take note that if you have a history of Aortic Dissections or Aortic Aneuersym – get yourself checked out. You can run 10 miles a day, eat all the vege’s and fiber till you can’t see straight… but that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be an enlarged aorta growing inside your body.

I figure I got about 1.5 hours sleep last night. I had to get up at 6:00am for my doubles at 7-8:30am. My daughter’s 13th birthday party was last night. She had 8 of her friends sleep over and they talked to the early morning hours. I kept tossing and turning as I could hear them and my pizza dinner wasn’t sitting too well.  They rented a limo and went to the mall for a fashion thing.

I spent a bit of time yesterday and finally finished today my contrustion project – final section of my “paver” walkway. My hands are killing me from the cement mix and they are so dry that they fell like I need some lotion! Now, I have the entire side of my house, from the side walk all the way back to the back patio done. 


We are having the family get together tomorrow for my daughter’s 13th birthday and that should be fun. I haven’t seen my folks in a whie and my brother either.  We’ll fire up the bbq and crack open a few beers and chat.

Wow.. I am super tired, suddenly the “lack of sleep” and my aching back from playing tennis 3 hours on Thursday, yesterday 1.5 and today 1.5, coupled with the paving project – I’m toast!

Hoping that my new job prospect still is working it’s way through and that I get a call the last week of July (my original planned date) to notify me that I got the job!

Good day!


Aortic Dissection vs Aortic Aneursym

I often times get asked this question about what the difference are between the two of these conditions. So, while working on my website today, I came across a pretty simple definition of both:

Aortic dissection refers to tear on the wall of the large vessel coming out of the heart, called the aorta.  This tear causes blood to flow outside the normal area.  Deterioration of the aorta’s inner lining is most often seen in patients with hypertension, a congenital disorder, or those who have suffered blunt trauma (such as a car accident).   It is very important to diagnose and treat this condition quickly.   A number of tests are performed to determine the nature of the aorta’s pathology, and we are pleased to be able to preserve the non-diseased aortic valves while repairing the diseased areas in most instances.

An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of the aorta.  Although an aneurysm can develop anywhere along your aorta, it frequently occurs in the section running through your chest.  Although most aneurysms are small, grow slowly and do not rupture, approximately 15,000 Americans die of a ruptured aortic aneurysm each year.  Most patients learn they have an aortic aneurysm during an exam unrelated to cardiac health.  Depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, it may be best to simply monitor your condition.  If surgical intervention is indicated, the specific procedure will be determined by the cause of the aneurysm and its location.

What if you have an enlarged aorta right now? What do you do about it? I just found a great site, that explains a ton of information.

When is surgery indicated? 

Once a thoracic aneurysm is diagnosed, routine, scheduled follow-up is necessary by an aortic specialist. Aneurysm size needs to be followed closely and surgery is warranted if there is rapid growth over a short period of time or if a critical size is reached. Follow-up typically includes CT scans or MRI’s every 6-12 months. 

The ascending aorta grows at a rate of 0.10 cm per year and the descending aorta at a rate of 0.20 cm per year. Should an aneurysm increase in size by 0.4cm in any one year then surgery should be performed.

Decisions regarding surgery can be made if the risk of death, dissection or rupture is known for any particular aneurysm size. This risk can then be compared to the risk of surgery. At St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Aneurysm Center the operative mortality of ascending aortic aneurysm surgery is 2.3%. The mortality for aortic arch surgery increases to 5-8% and the mortality for descending thoracic aneurysm surgery is 5.5%. Below is listed the yearly risk of complications based on aortic aneurysm size.





Aortic size


Yearly risk

> 3.5cm


>5.0 cm

> 6.0cm


























Any of the above











Given these statistics it is recommended that asymptomatic ascending aortic aneurysms be resected at a size of 5.0-5.5 cm.  If severe aortic insufficiency is present in the setting of a bicuspid valve, the ascending aorta should be resected when it is 4.5 cm in diameter. Descending thoracic and aortic arch aneurysms typically are resected when they exceed 6.0 cm in diameter. A patient with Marfan’s syndrome typically warrants earlier intervention.  Symptomatic aneurysms should be resected regardless of size.    

If you need expert help, I have many great surgical references of the top experts in the aortic surgery field. I would be more than happy to help!



Helping others-It’s the right thing to do!

I am so thankful to be able to give something back to others. Being the recipient of a “second chance” at life, I am blessed to be able to help others. I feel it’s my way of being able to give something back as GOD chose to show favor on me. Today, I received a call from a young man that is presently trying to determine what he should do about his “enlarged” aortic root and the fact that he’s got a bicuspid value issue as well. (Def) A bicuspid valve is also known as the mitral valve or semi-lunar valve with only two cusps (instead of three); situated between the left atrium and left ventricle. It ensures the unidirectional flow of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle.

In writing this “post” I discovered a person’s website that is completely devoted to this type of heart valve replacement surgery. His name is Adam Pick.  It appears that he’s had a valve replacement surgery as well.   Ok.. back to my topic of “helping others” and my original point of this post. My friend is really feeling like he’s living with a “time-bomb” inside his chest and that’s the last thing you want to be worrying about. In this day in age, we have numerous highly competent surgeons that do this type of valve replacement surgery. Often times, the valve can be saved and other times, a mechanical type  of valve will be the only option.  The main point that I can provide to this person is “resources” and a listening ear. That’s what people need to know is that there’s hope for them and that there’s been others before them that have had to go through very similar situations. And.. guess what? They made it through and so can you!

I have spoken to hundreds of aortic dissection patients and have been so “overjoyed” to have been able to help them in some shape or form that’s what makes my day!

All the best!



Thanks Dr. DeBakey, I would have never seen my daughter’s 13th birthday

 It’s Sunday morning, July 13th and as I updated my Google news section on my website, I could not help but be touched again by the impact of yet another article written by Todd Ackerman  over at the Houston Chronical. This very picture here really weighs heavily on my heart – especially today as it’s my daughter’s 13th birthday. A day in which had it not been for the incredible intuition and forward thinking of Dr. DeBakey and the use of the “dacron tubing”, I might not have seen this day. I truly thank GOD for creating such a wonderful man – a man with the knowledge that helped save my life.  I would also like to commend Todd for his great articles that he’s put together in the last few days trying to portray the impact that Dr. DeBakey has made to the surgical world. He’s done an excellent job – the best articles that I have read on the subject.  When I look at this picture, I can see that tubing there as being the “substance” that is helping hold my aorta in place. I am hoping that they research has been done on this product that it lasts along time – that it’s going to hold together with the stitches that are used to attach it to my aorta root and the other side of my aorta. All these things, Dr. DeBakey already figured out and tested on several thousands of patients to ensure that my surgery would have a better chance for success.  I think Dr. DeBakey’s ability to tolerate the surgery himself at the age of 97 was yet another miracle and how “blessed” of a man that he truly was. 

Dr. DeBakey catagorized the different type so of Aortic Dissections into three groups (mine was type 1) and years later, Stanford Univeristy would come along and come up with theirs – essentially the very similar to his definitions.

The Stanford classification divides dissections into 2 types, type A and type B.


  • Type A involves the ascending aorta (DeBakey types I and II); type B does not (DeBakey type III).  
  • This system also helps delineate treatment. Usually, type A dissections require surgery, while type B dissections may be managed medically under most conditions.

The DeBakey classification divides dissections into 3 types.


  • Type I involves the ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta.  
  • Type II is confined to the ascending aorta.  
  • Type III is confined to the descending aorta distal to the left subclavian artery.  
    • Type III dissections are further divided into IIIa and IIIb.  
    • Type IIIa refers to dissections that originate distal to the left subclavian artery but extend both proximally and distally, mostly above the diaphragm.  
    • Type IIIb refers to dissections that originate distal to the left subclavian artery, extend only distally and may extend below the diaphragm.

In my case I had the DeBakey Type 1, where my aorta dissected right about the aortic root. This is where about 70% of these dissections occur.  These are the pictures (courtesty of MGH)

I am playing some tennis this morning with my friend Jack. He’s the guy that I was actually playing with that my aorta actually dissected during the match.  You don’t realize how a person’s life can impact your own sometimes, unless you’ve had a situation like mine and then….. you just say, “WOW” and praise GOD for the miracle of life and that you are still alive thanks to others paving the way for you.

I have to also thank the GOOD LORD for my wife. I am so blessed to have her! One thing that I really love is when we have to put things together. She’s the direction reader and I ususally do the work. Case and point, we just recently installed a LCD TV stand and last night, installed my daughter’s chandaler in her bedroom.  This particular light put up a fight and took us several attempts… but we worked as a team and got it working. Then, she tricked me and turned on the switch and it didn’t come on. I didn’t see that she’d only put the bulb half way in and everyone got a laugh as “daddy” was ready to get upset. 


In summary, I MUST thank the GOOD LORD for people like Dr. DeBakey. He’s the reason that I am still alive today – a reason to enjoy my daughter’s 13th birthday. My daughter really wants to become an actress and is determined to give it her best shot. I will do all that I can to help her try and reach her goals in life. My goal today is to remember the great things that life has to offer and give thanks for the wonderful things that we can give back to others – something that Dr. DeBakey surely did.



Remembering Dr. DeBakey

Last night we lost perhaps the greatest surgeon that this world has ever seen – at least in our life time. The impact that Dr. DeBakey had on the surgical world – it’s almost impossible to measure the magnitude of his contributions. I know from my own personal experience that my aorticdissection surgery technique stemmed from Dr. DeBakey’s training. The actual surgery that Dr. DeBakey pioneered, he actually underwent himself. He had an aortic anuersym where the aorta actually ruptured and had to have the dacron tubing attached.

In my case, I had the aortic dissection, where the layers of the aortic wall essentially separate and the blood flows back into the heart, where if not fixed in time with open heart surgery, the patients usually dies due to a paricardium tampenade. In either one of these conditions, you need to have the emergency surgery. And the techniques of how to do the surgery go back to the Dr. DeBakey invention of how to do them to begin with. I am so grateful for this GODLY man and great human being. Even though I never met him, his impact on surgeons like Dr. Joseph S. Coselli, have helped save thousands upon thousands of lives.

I am truly thankful for this man! He’s one of the reasons that I am here today as my surgeon, Dr. James Brevig probably learned this technique while he was studying to become a surgeon himself.

Rest in peace – I am sure he is as he was such a great human being.


Watched Hopkins last night-great show!

I hadn’t planned on watching any tv last night, and was just went down to get my ice-water before bed. It was 10:00pm and I turned on the channel and it was the Hopkins show on ABC. I was mesmerized by the show. In fact, one of the patients had an aortic procedure done similar to mine. It’s a miracle that I am still here with all the things (Planets aligning) to get this operation done successfully.

The other story was about this 19 year old boy who needed a heart transplant. The show chronicled the events that take place in order to pull this monumental event off. I was literally blown away. It’s just a blessing that we have these skilled surgeons and medical professionals – like the ones at Hopkins that take care of their patients so well. In fact, almost to the point of sacrificing their marriages. As someone who’s benefited from an “open heart” surgery myself and managed to not have an infection along with the procedure, I am so blessed to have made it. This show REALLY makes you see what goes on in those medical facilities. I think it’s a great show and I will watch it again – it makes you appreciate life! These folks are miracle workers with help from above.

The painting is done, the new doors hinges are on, the new house numbers are on, all the lights, plants, and patio furniture are back in place.  The house looks great! These guys did a great job.

I am off to play some outdoors tennis at 10:00am with my friend Curt. It’s a beautiful day and it will be fun.

I need to study today for my PMP and take the next chapter exam and get my PDU’s for that section.

Have a great day!


Monday Morning-Looks like another beautiful day

It’s about 6:45am and I am sipping my morning coffee and I can hear the sounds of the sprinkler in the front yard through the noise of the fan blowing in the den window. The air feels kind of cool as the rest of the house is 80 degrees!

I am playing tennis at 0800am outside this morning with my friend Curt. My interview is tomorrow and I need to get my hair cut today and do a bit more preparing for the interview.

I listened to the “flight harmonizer cd” again last night before bed and I am really feeling confident that this is going to work. I’ve got to essentially be my own coach and allow the “positive” side (Jesus) run my life and focus on the cross for all that it promises and the protection that it provides.

We still haven’t figured out what we are going to do about the 4th of July yet. Or normal plans of going to my sister in law’s place, it didn’t work this time.

Got an email from a worried aortic customer today who is trying to find a surgeon and I sent off a couple of emails today to my experts to get him help.  His cardiologist mentioned the Cleveland Clinic which is an excellent place. However, there’s quite a few other places that have tremendous surgeons as well.

I can not believe that it’s the last day of June! Wow, summer is flying by really fast.

We got a patio set yesterday from Fred Meyer and had dinner out on it last night. I am thinking that I will try to find an umbrella for it today. I was also thinking of one of those little portable fire kits – but… I am not sure if they are that great and how much usage it would get?

Have a great day! Be thankful for EVERYTHING that GOD has blessed you with.


Thursday evening on 6/5/2008-It’s been a few days since posting

I have not been in the mood lately to post my activities, however, I feel it’s time to get caught back up.

Still working on trying to land a job. I have a few options that look promising and I am hoping and praying that something gives before the end of this month. I am hoping that the WWT job works out with the help of my friend John. I bought the CEO’s book, the 52 lessons learned from the Bible and I am presently reading it. It’s a tremendous book, full of wonderful principles from the Bible.

I am in the Seattle City NTRP 4.5 tennis tourney and made it so far to the Semi-finals and play this Saturday at 0900am. I am going to win that match and hopefully meet my friend in the finals and beat him to be the repeat champion as I won the event last year.

Our USTA 4.5 team also has our last match this Sunday and we’ve already clinched a playoff spot.

I don’t know if you watch the little people show on TLC, but I just got an update from Google about one of their friends dying of an AD. I am very sorry to hear about that.

I got my cholesterol test back and my HDL is at 205 and should be under 200. I need to let my cardiologist know about this as well as schedule an appt with him about the review on my latest Echo cardiogram.

I am also having the U of W vein expert, Dr. Torrance Andrews look at my varicose veins and have another appointment with him next Friday after my appt Wednesday at the Vascular lab for testing.  When I originally met with him, he wheeled in a portable Ultrasound device and confirmed that the root cause of my left leg was the saphenous vein and it’s inability to carry blood back up to the heart due to faulty valves. This is the superficial vein that is not really needed, so I am going to get it fixed with the laser treatment and move on with my life.

Have a great evening!


More great information on AD at New England Journal of Medicine

I am trying to get a copy of the False Lumen recent study as well as the diagrams that they say are available. I have written to them today. is the article on the Type B with partial thrombosis mentioned.



A couple of really good articles/updates on Aortic Dissections

New hope for aortic dissection survivors
Jul 26, 2007 Each year, 10000 Americans suffer a sudden tear in the lining of their body’s largest blood vessel, the aorta.

And this one on the overall  definition with pictures:

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s day! I know that I did! It’s a beautiful Monday here and I am so thankful for this day. GOD’s Miracles are around us everywhere! I am so blessed!


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