Personal Stories: Steve Crump

Hi Brian,

It was nice talking to you this afternoon. This is my husbandsí story from my point of view. Steve is 50, active, type A person into martial arts, weightlifting & is a contractor who builds homes & apartment buildings. He is very muscular & a bit over weight in the belly.

Our story begins on Oct.20th 2006. We were in bed when he looked at me and said ďIím in trouble, something is not right, itís my backĒ. When he was finally able to get himself up, he showered hoping it would help, dressed & said I have to go to the ER. His left leg had gone numb & he was unable to walk. I pushed him in an office chair to the car & took him to St Helena Hospital.

The ER doc was great, after giving him a brief history he ordered a ct scan which confirmed the descending aortic dissection. This was less than an hour after presenting to the ER. Dr. Look, the ER doc knew it wasnít a heart attack & felt he was having a dissection.

The surgeon, Dr John Jacobson explained the risks of surgery & the medical management procedures he would follow. He was taken to the ICU. The next afternoon, he lost the pulse in his left leg & was prepped for surgery. There was difficulty inhibiting Steve, it took an hour and by the time they had him down, he lost the pulse in his right leg. Dr Jacobson came out and explained the new operation they would perform. The surgeons were Dr. Jacobson & Dr Tetz, a thoracic surgeon. So, instead of an incision in the groin area, he was cut from his chest to his groin. They closed up the false lumen, which was supplying blood flow to his legs and opened an area in his true lumen, used a small graft (because the aortic wall was to thin to sew on) and somehow (I donít remember the details) reconnected blood supply to the legs. It was made clear to us that this was a very complex surgery. He was in ICU for 8days then MCU 2 more days. He has constant left leg pain & numbness and has not been able to feel like he is recuperating. He looks and feels very very ill. He has lost 50lbs todate.

One month after surgery, I took him back to the ER because he was so ill & unable to eat or sleep & had a fever and was very clammy. He was admitted & had tests run but we were told he must have caught a cold or flu. His temp. was 103 in the ER.

One month after that, I took him back again to the ER. This time because he had back & chest pain & was coughing up bloody mucus for days. His PCP had him on antibiotics but he was told to go to the ER if he got worse. When he stood up and about passed out and could not walk, I took him in. We got Dr. Look again & he did not see signs of pneumonia but admitted him for further evaluation. His kreatinin levels were to high to do a CT scan so they did a V/Q scan which confirmed blood clots in his lungs. He was in the hospital another 6 days. We were also told that his liver levels were high. Should be around 50 & he was at 300, but the numbers were going down each day & he tested neg. for hep A, B & C. so, nothing was done about that. He is now home with oxygen at #1 level. Has added cumadin to his many other meds he takes. I donít have the list but from memory it is: Toporal 100mg, Potassium, adavan, lasix, cozaar, & a newly added Zoloft. He is very depressed and refuses to take any pain medication. He was given perceset, & a pain patch of 100mg of something?? He has a Kidney Dr. Stuart Bursten, M.D.. a lung Dr. Dr. Rasavi, and a cardiologist, Dr. James Lies. I am looking for a new PCP as his is 1 Ĺ hour drive from St. Helena, our home town.

Well, thatís the medical part in a nut shell. On the day after his surgery, Steve & I were married in the ICU by his partner & good friend. Weíve been engaged for 25years & had a quickie wedding with 2hours notice! At least one of us got to wear a gown!

Thanks for listening

Mrs. Sandy Crump


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