Personal Stories: Deb Bonnema
Thank you for calling me back.
My name is Deb Bonnema and on Nov. 30, 2004 my husband took me to the
ER because he thought I had Pneumonia. They ran a CT scan which came out
positive for that, but they also found that I have an ascending aortic
Because of how bad the bronchitis and pneumonia was they wanted to
wait until Jan 4, 2005 to do my surgery. Four days before surgery I
started having severe chest pain. My husband Dan took me back to the ER.
This time they not only did a CT scan they put a scope down my throat.
They said the dissection was clotted off and was getting smaller. My
surgeon said he had never seen this in all his 12 years. Now I'm on a
waiting plan. I'm taking Toprol and Cardizem.
I can't say this is a walk in the park the meds don't always agree
with me (they make me lightheaded). I have already had 14 surgeries in
my life and I'm only 41. I don't want to go through another if I don't
Is there any one out there with ascending aortic dissection that
didn't have to have surgery? Do I need a second opinion?
Response from Doctor David Liang of Stanford:
If the flow in the false lumen is very slow it can clot off. You've
managed to survive a month already with the dissection, so you have
already selected yourself out into a very select and lucky group of
patients. If the false lumen truly has clotted then the ultimate outcome
may be quite good and may not require surgery. It should be watched
closely though and controlling the blood pressure is very important.
Thank you, Deb