Hi I am Patrick Gethin
I live in the UK. My Aortic dissection happened on 17th September
2008. I was in a business meeting being held at a local hotel. The
meeting broke for coffee and I took the opportunity go go out for some
fresh air as I was feeling strange. no pain just like my blood
pressure was up and a bit faint. I sat outside when the Duty Manager
passed going back into the hotel and he said I didn't look well did I
want him to call an ambulance. To this day I don't know why but I
didn't even hesitate and said yes. That was the last thing I remember
till I was having nightmares due to the drugs!
I was rushed to a local Hospital and they had me lying on a trolley
till they dealt with me. My partner had been contacted and had managed
to get to the hospital thanks to a neighbor. He got hold of someone in
charge and told them that this was really urgent I was lying shaking
and in pain. They didn't even admit me to this hospital and sent me to
another about45 minutes away.
When I arrived there my partner was advised that I had an aortic
dissection as the result of an aneurysm. They thought I had 30% chance
of coming through the surgery. The operation lasted 9 and a quarter
hours. I was then taken to Intensive care and kept there for a day and
a half before they tried to wake me. I was released after 7 days. But
still had to recover from the open chest surgery.
My partner was great bringing a pillow to the hospital for me to
put between me and the seatbelt in case he had to stop suddenly.
We got through this and I went back to work in March 2009. My
employers were very understanding and I built up my attendance over
the next two months to get back to full time.
In a couple of ways I am very lucky, one I didn't know before my
operation what was involved and what could go wrong, secondly i have
recovered and am getting on with my life.
But that is not the end!
Thinking I was lucky and wanting to live life to the full I decided
to go to New York for my 50th Birthday. traveled on 13th September and
had a couple of days before my Birthday, but on the morning of my
birthday after opening my cards I had a stroke!
Yet again my poor partner had to call the emergency services and
get me to hospital. Luckily I was near one of the best Stroke
hospitals in New York (the Presbyterian) and they admitted me very
quickly and started treatment. To cut a long story short I did not
suffer any loss of brain function or mobility and am now home and
Life is never easy you get over one thing and another pops up but
you just get on with life and try and enjoy what you are doing at the
time. You don't know what is round the next corner.
Good luck to everyone on the site be they patients or family.
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