Personal Stories: Chris O'Brein


It was 01/17/03 that I experienced my dissected aorta aneurysm.  I was taken to St. Joseph's hospital ER in Atlanta.  I spent till the end of June 03 in various hospitals-starting rehab.  In July 03 I continued this rehab on an outpatient basis.  This was after I spent 41 days in ICU with complications of kidney failure and stroke associated with the surgery in the ER to place a patch on my aortic valve that was dissected.  I was 52 years old when I experienced the dissected aorta.

The rest of 03 I spent in various rehab centers - in which I still participate and exercise today.  I lost some blood flow to my right leg during the procedure to patch my aorta and therefore have suffered nerve damage which still exists in my right leg today.  I walk with a limp and will not experience re-growth of the nerves for 18 - 24 months.  That is however the extent of my injuries from the aortic patch procedure.  I feel very lucky.  John Ritter died of his aortic aneurysm about two months after I had mine.  I believe he also was 52.

Thanks for doing this site.  I would like to know if you feel tired and without stamina?  I find it difficult walking to the mailbox to get the mail.  Also has anyone told you about longevity associated with this condition? I feel somewhat normal except for the ability to walk that far on a treadmill or ride a stationery bike.  It gets a little bit better every week.

I'm on a lot of blood pressure medicine and coumadin.  Also wellbutrin for depression and stratera for ADHD.  These problems existed before the aortic rupture and still afflict me today.

Again, thanks for taking the time to do this site.  It is a godsend to me and I really appreciate you taking the time.

Chris O'Brien

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