Personal Stories: Charles Francis
Hi, I've looked at several stories and can now tell mine. I was at home
and fit - I'd given up working for a FTSE 100 company in the UK and was
renovating houses with my brother. I was reasonably fit, going to the
gym a few times a week and the work was keeping me fit. It was the 5th
January this year. I had just moved my son's car and as I got out of the
car to walk back into the house just didn't feel well.
Struggled back into the house and rang my wife who was shopping in
Tunbridge Wells, said I didn't feel well. She said she would be back in
10 minutes! When she got back asked me what I needed? Did I want to lie
down etc. For no good reason I said call the doctor, a very good friend
of mine, I've never said this before in my life. Luckily Mike, the
doctor, was on his way home and came in to the house within 5 minutes.
Even more surprising he diagnosed "ascending, thoracic, grade A aortic
never seen it before, he's 59 and about to retire. He got me off t o
kent and Sussex hospital, who ran some tests and realized there was
nothing they could do, way out of their level. I was sent by ambulance
with doctor and morphine to St Thomas's in London. Luckily there was a
surgeon and team available, plus a free theatre, plus an intensive care
bed - all on the National Health Service.
Rosie was told I had less than a 50-50 chance of survival and that was
good as I appeared to be reasonably healthy.
Five days later I woke up, been in a drug induced coma - 2 hours
later I was out of bed, just a couple of steps to prove to myself that I
was alive. I had no idea how lucky I was to have had the ascending part
of my aorta replaced with man made pipe.
I'm really fine now - I go back for another CT scan next week and
could add to the story if anyone is interested.
I hope you are all well - best of everything.
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