Personal Stories: Patrick Gethin


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 recovering.

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.

Contact Patrick


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