Personal Stories: Gary Whitaker

Hello, my name is Gary Whitaker and im 45 years old. On December 21, 2009 I was on my way to work I do power line construction and felt this tearing sensation in my chest along with severe chest pains. So luckily the crew i worked with stopped at a little store in Wheeler, Texas.

I walked into the store and told the clerk working there that I needed an ambulance that I thought that I was having a heart attack. Luckily she was a registered nurse and she said that she would take me to their hospital there in Wheeler, she also contacted my wife and told her that I was being taken to the hospital.

I really don't remember a lot after that because my wife said that when she got there they were medi-flighting me to Amarillo, Texas to Baptist St. Anthony's for an emergency heart catherization. After having the catherization they told my wife that I was very lucky to be alive and that I had a class A descending aortic dissection and said that I would have to be medi-flighted again to Houston, Texas I barely remember anything about the flight to Houston, but that my wife was going to be able to ride in the plane with me.

We landed at Houston Hobby Airport and then was rushed to Methodist Debakey Heart & Vascular Center where they performed the 6 Hour Aortic Heart Dissection Repair. Dr. Michael Reardon who is the Best Cardiovascular Surgeon in the State Of Texas performed the surgery. Its been about 3 months now and they still haven't released me to go back to work, their saying that I might never be able to go back to work but I'm optimistic, I just thank  God that he pulled me through they said that its a miracle that I'm not dead or completely paralyzed from the severity of the Dissection.

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