Personal Stories: Pat Bussinger

My name is Pat. I have a dissection of an aneurysm of the aorta. I was is the hospital for pneumonia, and had a chest x-ray. The doctor reading the x-ray saw what he considered an abnormally, and it was followed by a CTscan of the heart. Then came the cardiologist came! They had no good news. The aneurysm had sealed itself off---which was a good thing, but the bad thing is they say it cannot be operated on because it is only 4ml (or whatever). I wait every day for it to rupture, therefore I do next to nothing. It has me very depressed. I neglect my home, my husband, my friends. I have an appointment with my cardiologist next week, and I will again ask if it is not possible to put in a stent. If he says no, I will ask for a referral to the Mayo Clinic. I do think a second opinion is in order.......Pat

Update: 8/6/2004

Hi Brian
I have been in touch with Dr, Liang and Sunny several times now, and I am preparing for my trip to California on Aug 13th.  My surgery is the 18th, but Sunny told me to give myself a few days to enjoy the beauty, so I am.
I sent my CTscans from the past year, including the one my doctor insisted I have before he would see last month---which he didn't he didn't even look at.  Dr Liang called me at 10pm Sunday night to discuss the films, and said al the films before this July showed nothing that indicated a dissection of any kind---they showed nothing, even though the reports said there was a dissection---this was for a year.  Now the one in July showed something, but it was not a dissection----it was an ulcer growing at a rapid rate inside of my aorota.  If not removed in 2 months I would be dead.  What luck that the doctor never looked at the films---God knows what he might have done.  Dr. Liang worried all night about them and called a conference to discuss them in the morning---they all agreed it was a dangerous ulcer.  Dr Liang called me again Monday morning and asked me how soon I could get out there.
He assures me that with-in 6 months I will back to my old self doing as I please, as if it had never happened.  This is truly Divine intervention.  To not be able to sleep---go on the computer---search on aortic dissection, just happen to hit on Brian's page, Brian going the extra mile for me---putting me in touch with Dr. Liang---and putting where I am today.  Brian I love you.  You are a miracle.

Update: 9/3/04

Hi Brian
I feel a special bond between us because you pointed me to Dr. Liang.  I flew out to California, and had my surgery on August 23rd.  All went well.  I had no problems, but it will take me a bit to recover completely.  I don't handle surgery well.  It saps my strength, and others may say it was a walk in the park. 
The whole experience was a wonder.  Everything was prepared as though it had been planned for months.  No waiting in line.  Sunny walked me through the whole thing.  I could not get over how smoothly things went.  I feel privilaged to be a patient there.  I wish everyone would have the chance to go there.  Think how many lives would be save.
I just want to thank you for your intervention.  I'm sure I would not have had the good experience, and chance to live a normal life.  You are making a differnce---please keep up the good work
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Pat Bussinger

Update: 9/4/04

Hi Brian
Dr. Mitchell did the surgery.  They certainly make a great team.  I got a bit un-nerved waiting for the surgery, as they had to wait for the right stent to arrive.
I have been put into a study for this stent.
I did not have a dissection of the aorta.  Mine ended up being an ulcer inside the aorta that had made it's way through the wall, and a sac formed and was holding it all in.  There are miracles for sure.
I feel I am on my way to a new life!
Thank you again
Pat Bussinger


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