Personal Stories: Bill Witterschein



Back in 2005 on Labor Day weekend my husband Bill was working out at a Physical Therapy Facility in NJ.
He had a double knee replacement in June. He was showering after the workout and felt a spreading feeling in his chest. He wrapped a towel around himself and went out to where there were people around.

He started to feel dizzy and an ambulance was called. He was taken to Monmouth Medical Center where the head ER physician realized after reading his Cat Scan that he had an Aortic Dissection. They transferred him to Jersey Shore Med Ctr where he underwent a 7 hr operation which saved his life.


We followed up in NYC @ Columbia Presbyterian after hearing about a Dr Craig Kent who is the Chief of Vascular Surgery. Dr Kent advised Bill to see him every 6 months for a check up which includes either a CAT Scan or MRA.


This Dec Bill had his usual Cat Scan on 12/18 and we visited Dr Kent to discuss the results. Dr Kent immediately.called a Cardiac Surgeon Dr Alan Stewart and we went right to his office.

The CAT Scan showed that there was a leak at the sight of the original repair. Bill had a 11 hr operation on 1/2 . Dr Stewart explained that Bill's Aorta was bulging and that he probably only had 2 weeks to live.

When the original procedure was done something called bioglue (spelling ?) was used they are no longer using that procedure and the reason is what happened to Bill can occur.


We are back in Fl the surgery was successful Bill can go back to normal activities after 2 months or so.

The advice I want to give is that all Dissection Survivors must be faithful to follow up check ups.

Kathy Witterschein


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