Personal Stories: Barb Yoho

My motherís (Barb) aortic dissection story: 

The end of 2003, my mom (Barb) had been having high blood pressure, which was uncharacteristic for her.  Her family doctor dismissed it as no big deal, so I encouraged her to switch doctors.  Thank God she did.  The new doctor heard a heart murmur, sent her for tests the next day, and she was admitted to the hospital for surgery immediately after the test.

She had a complete dissection of the aorta, starting at the heart and going down the whole length of the aorta, into both arms and legs.  Her valve was replaced and the aorta was ďwrappedĒ at the top (I think), and now sheís on medicine (beta blockers) and will be following up with the surgeon and the heart doctor on a somewhat frequent basis.  This was late January of 2004.  Oh Ė and the kicker to this whole story, is that she probably had started her dissection about a year and a half ago Ė or so it is thought.  In October of 2002, she had very sever chest pain (front and back), and went to ER, thinking she was having a heart attack.  But when they took her blood pressure, her hand went numb, so they figured it was a stroke, and never tested her for heart problems (they checked for gall bladder, ulcers, stroke, but not heart).  But now the doctors think that was when the dissection started.  God kept her alive for some reason Ė she really should be dead by now!

Anyhow, itís now a few months after the surgery, and my mom is still recovering.  She has been told that she might have to have more surgeries down the road, but no one knows for sure.  She was told by one doctor that it was caused by hardening of the arteries, but by the surgeon she was told that no one knows what caused it.  Iím hoping itís not a hereditary issues, because itís not something I would like to go through, and I have 3 small kids (1,3,5) and I donít want them to have to go through it either.  But they just keep telling her they donít know.  Anyhow, sheís goes back to the surgeon in about a week or so, already had another test of the aorta, (and she wasnít admitted right back into the hospital, which is good), so we just keep thanking God that she is alive, and appreciate each day!

I also want to add that I am so glad I found this website.  Iím big into checking the internet for resources, and was getting rather frustrated that I couldnít find information.  And itís great to have a place to go to talk with other people who have had this happen (and are STILL ALIVE!!)!  I hope I can get my mom reading and posting, but if not, then Iíll pass the info on to her.

 Contact  Heather Kronheim (daughter and author)

Contact: Barb Yoho (patient and mother)


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