Personal Stories: Lewis Pringle


Dear Sir,

What a grand notion. Im a survivor too and always felt I owed someone something.

To me, the biggest problem is misdiagnosis. I had no warning and was teaching my class at Miami University when it hit. There was no question in mind but what I was in trouble. I went down on the floor from the intensity of the thing. My students got an ambulance and I was taken to the hospital in Oxford, Ohio. They concluded I did NOT have a heart attack and was held over-night, I was released Friday AM (14 November 1997) and instructed to return to the hospital Monday morning for some tests (certain to include a treadmill).

This, as you will understand, was a death sentence. I, on the other hand, felt just fine and drove myself 20 miles home.

 By accident, I received a call from a friend in Dallas who when I told him the story begged me to get of the area and go to Cleveland Clinic (about 30 miles from here). He made arrangements, my sons flew in from Florida and Massachusetts and drove me there Sunday. I walked in to CC Monday morning and began routine tests. All of a sudden it hit again. I told them to stop their tests because I was going down for the second time. I remember the transesophogeal electrocardiogram and nothing further. I was immediately in OR and recall nothing further for two days when I awoke, filled with tubes and 100% paralyzed on the right side of my body.  

My surgeon was Dr. Patrick McCarthy, one of the relatively few at that point in time who could have repaired me. The stroke occurred, at least as I understand it, when my blood was turned back on and re-entered the brain. Im now 95% recovered from its effects effects I shall NEVER forget.

Im not sure why Im writing except to tell you Id be happy to help you if there were some way for me to do so particularly on this misdiagnosis front (though the intervening 8 years may have improved that situation). The shock, however, in discovering that an untreated dissected aneurism of the ascending aorta carries with it a probability of death of 1% per hour which I understand remains the case and yet large #s of MDs could send one home to be tested next week for pleurisy still astounds me. If that remains a problem, I WOULD like to help fix it.



Lewis G. Pringle (Lew Pringle)
Phone: 206-550-7957
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