Personal Stories: Mark Schlieper

My name is Mark and I was medi-flighted to Mass General Hospital 7-14-08 to have life saving surgery for a type B aortic dissection. Ten days before, I had gone to the local ER complaining of lower back pain, and aching testicles. I was given a CT scan and diagnosed with a back spasm and given ibuprophen and vicodin. Curious, I saw my urologist who was treating me for a swollen prostate with the medicine euroxathall and he had no answer but took me off it. Still curious I went to my family Doctor who after reviewing the CT scan, thought perhaps I had a pin point kidney stone.

I had even called my old rheumatologist wondering if the poliomyelitis I had in 2000 had returned { immune system ] but the blood test was negative. I continued to have lower back pain, testicle ache and stress. The results of a recent yearly physical in May showed no abnormality, and my BP was 128/70, pulse high 50's. At 11am 7/14/09 while sitting at my desk in my home office a crippling pain exploded between my shoulder blades. I knew something was wrong. My wife Pam, took me to the Portsmouth Regional ER where I walked in and collapsed.

My BP was 287/105, the pain was excruciating and I was given morphine. Georgette, the RN looked at the Dr.'s and said she wanted me CT scanned for aortic dissection ASAP. I owe my life to her and Bob the chief of radiology whom I know personally. It was confirmed per the CT. It wasn't long before the helicopter lifted off and I was staring out the window watching the coast of NH pass by on the way to Boston, my wife Pam lovingly being strong, holding my hand telling me I'd be ok.

After landing, the rest was told to me later. I had 1 Dacron covered stent and 3 stainless mesh stents put into my aorta. I went back into surgery the next day and had my leaking gall bladder removed and was "tented" as they observed my liver which was failing I believe from blood loss. They put a bypass to my liver and it was fine. After 2 weeks of

dialysis the Dr. stented my kidneys through endoscopy. I arrived home 8/8/08. Returned to MGH starting 8/22/08 with phantom pain, stayed 3 nights. Recovered slowly at first, went to vascular exercise Oct. and Nov. Taking BP meds and feeling remarkably well. Still on treadmill and trying to do more. Coughed uncontrollably before Christmas while lying on sofa and caused a incisional hernia which still bulges about the size of a 1/2 an orange. Note: If your going to cough stand up!

Found out at 6 month check-up at MGH that my vascular surgeon wants to put a small stent between the first and 2nd stent, about 3 centimeters, there is a 1mm bulge which is small but I gather this is precautionary. Scheduled for endoscopy 2/23/09 at MGH. Otherwise, all looks excellent. During this procedure they will remove spinal fluid so as to help with the free flow of blood to my spine and reduce the chance of paralysis to 1-4%.

I discovered this site yesterday and am so thankful to Brian and the wonderful people sharing. I hope to contact many of you to share, and promise an update after my release from the next surgery. Mark age: 58, father of 2 great college girls and married to the most wonderful woman in the world.


my event was 7-14 08, not 09. i had polymyocytis in 2000 not what is spelled in my story.

Contac Mark

HomeAbout MeDisclaimer | Contact Us | Link To Us 2003-2008. All Rights Reserved. Everett, WA.