Personal Stories: Curt Collman

On Sunday, September 19, 2004 I got a phone call from my Dad saying "Could you come over here? I think I just had a heart attack." I asked him if I should call 911 and he said,

"No, just come over here." We got that call at 6:31 am and had him to the hospital at 6:45 am. He said he had what felt like a charley horse that went from his chest to his back down into his stomach and his legs. I noticed that he kept taking real deep breaths. The pain had lessened but he continued to have extreme pain between his shoulder blades.

His pressure was 226/108 when we got to the hospital, but his heart rhythms were good, his enzyme levels good, his EKG results good. But the Doctor kept asking questions and decided to do another test for either a pulmonary imbulus or an aortic dissection. The results were an aortic dissection. He has been in the hospital now in CCU for 9 days. Yesterday, he finally got his pressure down to the 130's on only oral medication. His lungs still have a little fluid so they will keep him in CCU until they clear.

We have been told that the descending dissection is completely through to the pelvic area. The Doctor here has said it can be controlled with medication, but since a descending aortic dissection is not her area of expertise, he has been referred to a Doctor in Houston. Do you think surgery is even possible considering the length of the tear?

Updated: 11/1/2004

Update to Curtis Collom's story.

My dad went back to work today! Hooray!!

After his dissection on September 19, 2004 we didn't know what to expect. We recently went to Houston to see Dr. Joseph Coselli for a second opinion. Dr. Coselli told him that medicine is the best treatment for him. His dissection is from the right of the subclavian artery to the iliac. But, he has recovered well. He has some pain in his right leg when he walks due to some sheering at the iliac. He has lost his right kidney completely, but he didn't lose his spirit. We continue to look at his condition as "The glass is half full." Yes, he lost his kidney, but he has another and it wasn't his brain, his liver, or his spinal cord. All of our news has been good!!

I would like to thank his friends, my family and especially the staff at Terrebonne General Medical Center in Houma Louisiana. The ER Doctor made the right diagnosis and that is what saved my Dad. From everything that I have read, a dissection isn't easily detected. So thank you, Dr. Newman.

The Doctor told my Dad that he may even play golf again in a couple of months and can go red fishing again.

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Phone: 206-550-7957
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