Why I just woke up one morning and it just happened. Felt like I had a rope around me
and somebody was pulling on it. And I broke out in a cold sweat. I went to the emergency
room in Spring Hill. They put me on a helicopter and told me they was waiting on me up at Centennial.
He came into me from the ER. Was having chest pain and he was having problems with his leg.
And they diagnosed him with an aortic dissection. That’s a tear in the inner lining of the aorta which
is the main artery in your body. It had cut off the circulation in one of his legs. He
needed an urgent operation. Potentially if he hadn’t gotten treatment, adequate treatment,
he could have lost his left leg. He put a stent in and he wasn’t satisfied with it and
he went ahead and bypassed me. Vascular surgery has changed immensely. In the last ten years
as new techniques came about, it’s been very interesting to watch as we’re able to do things
through needles, with balloons and stents and much less invasively. What we used to
do in the older days in making an open incision and visualizing the artery, we’re not accessing
the arteries in a different place, like in the groin or in the arm. We repair things
or fix problems from inside the vessels and that’s true for aneurisms. It’s true for stents
in the legs. We’re less and less invasive now and often accomplishing the same goals. This
kind of represents the arch of the aorta. This is an aneurism and this is a graft that
we put it in. I frequently refer to it as the largest operation that a human can have
and it’s really almost taken this into an outpatient procedure. Fro the patient ultimately it can be less stress, less time in the hospital Vascular surgery I think is a very interesting
field. It’s the one field I believe that as a surgeon or as a physician, we can really
treat the whole disease, both medically, surgically and also endovascularly. We treat patients
from had to toe, arteries and veins everywhere but the heart. Some other fields will dabble
and do a little bit of here and a little bit there, but only the vascular surgeon can take
care of the entire gamut of that disease. Well I started out wanting to be a cardiac
surgeon and then realized that vascular surgery offered me a lot more options to help
the patients. It was really sort of a wake up call for him and he took a lot of positives
away from it. He’s done great. I couldn’t be prouder of him. He has done everything
he’s been asked to. He’s lost a bunch of weight, he’s more active than he’s ever been. He’s
a good guy – I think he saved my life. I mean he’s my friend. For life, he’s not just my
doctor, he’s my friend. He’s had a positive outlook on it. He’s turned his life around
and he is his own biggest advocate now and that’s is a very satisfying feeling for me.
I don’t remember about it. I just know what peoples told me when they ask me what happened
to me and I tell them and they, a lot of people that are nurses and everything else, and they
say I’m not supposed to be here.