Personal Stories: John Smith Jr.  Story

My name is Rose, my husband John died on December 31, 2007 at the age of 37. His birthday was also in December so he had just turned 37. John and I were high school sweethearts, we were married when I was 16 and he was 17. We have four beautiful children, two by birth and two by choice. The oldest is 19 and the youngest is 2.

My husbands story is different than the ones I have read on here. I will share with you the last

2 1/2 days of my husbands life.

He woke me up around midnight (late Friday early Saturday) complaining of chest pains. He had done this before and it was indigestion. Shortly thereafter, he started vomiting. I figured he had a stomach virus or something. I was a little short with him because the children and I had to leave at 6:30 in the morning. When we left that morning John was still in the bathroom vomiting.

Around 9:30 am he called his sister who lives about 45 minutes away and told her that he was home alone and that he thought he was dying. He couldn't breath, was still vomiting and had severe chest pain. She told him to call 911, he did, the EMT's were there within minutes. When he got to the hospital the ER doctor told him that he thought he had "walking pneumonia". They did a chest x-ray on him - which states "at patients request" that says the lungs are clear. The ER doctor sent him home anyway with "walking pneumonia" as the diagnosis along with some antibiotics. Needless to say he was extremely embarrassed for calling 911 and all that was wrong with him was pneumonia.

He went to bed and pretty much stayed there on Saturday, on Sunday he was up a little, but still had a hard time breathing, chest pain, just plain out didn't feel good. On Monday, New Years Eve, he called me at work and said that my dad (who is elderly) wanted him to do some repairs on his house that day and that he didn't feel like it. He was worried about upsetting my dad, so he drove across the road (instead of walking) to try to talk my dad out of working. He had been in my dad's house for about 7 or 8 minutes when he grabbed his chest and said "I'm dying Joe" and fell over. My dad called my sister who is a RN because she lives up the road and then he called 911.

My sister got there within minutes and started CPR. She continued the CPR until the EMT's arrived and then still assisted them. He never responded.

We were all in shock. Here was this perfectly healthy, active 37 year old man, dead. He had just been to the hospital two days before, all that was wrong with him was pneumonia. How could it kill him?

The coroner's investigator called me the next day and said that he died from a "Thoracic Aortic Dissection". He also said that if the ER doctor would have found it on Saturday that they could have saved him.

Does anyone have a similar story? It will be 6 months next Monday since John has been gone, and I am still so angry. So hurt. I am looking for some answers, like what kind of tests should the ER doctors do when someone comes in complaining of chest pain? The only test that was done on him was the chest x-ray. Nothing else.

Thank you for reading our story.

 

Contact Rose


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