Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

So David has finally had the surgery and after 8 1/2 of the longest hours in my life has made it back to CICU :-)  Thats the good news, the bad news is we still have to wait until they wake him up to see if he is ok. They are not sure when they will attempt this it may be tomorrow or it may not.


One of the surgeons came and spoke to us and said " this as big as it gets in terms of surgery" tbh i wish he hadn't said that. To us he looks like death barely warmed up, to them he is doing as well as can be expected.


I pray he will make it. He is the other half of me, we have been through so much together it can't end here. He had a massive uphill climb from a stroke 2 years ago that he only had a 50% chance of surviving its just not fair that he now has this.


My kids although now young adults are really struggling, my daughter is supposed to be doing A'2's but just can't face college and my son took it hard when he saw his Dad tonight. I have to stay strong for them too. 

Views: 30

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group to add comments!

Join Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Comment by Graeme on January 28, 2011 at 17:46

To David and his family..

I am thinking of you very much at this time. In a way I think reading this brings back all the fears and dark dog hours and days of waking up after the surgery, and yes the op is as big as it gets. period. I did 10/12 hours on the table and was opened up twice - as the first close did not work as the aortic valve was shredded and i had to be re-opened and a new aortic dacron haemoshield graft and MHV fitted.  But I survived - mainly because of the support of my wife, friends and family  -plus a bit of willpower on my side as well (!) and so has everyone else here because of the power of the human spirit  - and David is going to be OK. 

Our bodies are truly amazing - really truly amazing. He will recover and he will be back with you all again soon. 


Stay strong- and believe.


My warmest best thoughts and wishes are with you all at this time.


Graeme Archer

Comment by Cheryl Kerber on January 28, 2011 at 16:59

I got goose bumps reading your update -- I think because I'm so happy David is on this side of it now.  I know it's a long road to travel, but you got over a huge hurdle.

My husband said they kept me under for a day or so.  All I remember is feeling like I was gagging on the tube and that is what woke me up, til they got it out of my throat and then I was out again.

He said my face and body were huge - all swollen -- they said it was from all the fluids they had to pump into my body including several bags of blood (which I didn't realize takes it's own toll on our bodies) --- good thing I didn't have access to a mirror.  But David will look better once the swelling subsides and more fluids can be drained off, and once he gets back to moving. 

I can only imagine the shock you and your family are facing based off of what my family has told me --- which they remind me of every time I consider going back to work as they absolutely don't want to go through that again.  Puts me back into my place you could say.  I had a lot of guilt over the years, feeling bad they had to go through it even though it was out of my control.  But just know we really appreciate everyone even if we might seem aloof, quiet, or easily agitated post surgery (part of it is the drugs, part of it is the pain, part of it is guilt, and part of it is just plain fear). 

My daughter was 4 at the time of my surgery, and only after she started kindergarten did her anxiety issues pop up.  She didn't want to leave me as she was afraid something would happen to me while she was gone.  Only time has helped to some degree.  She still has residual anxiety as she asks me everyday if I'm doing okay (I'm 6 years post surgery).  If I even look a little off -- it can put her into concern mode.  I feel horrible about this as it was my leaving in the middle of the night to the ER, and then not coming home for 10 days after, that caused the fear of separation.  She only saw me once at the hospital and that was on New Year's Eve (4 days after my surgery) with all the tubes and monitors that were hooked up to me.  She wanted to come sit with me on my bed, and even though I really wanted to hold her, it was just impossible at that time.  She was (and still can be) a free spirit, but the anxiety is always in the shadows.  She just turned 11, and all I can say, is that we celebrate life with a whole new outlook and vigor for life.

I guess I'm telling you this, because no matter what age (child, young adult, or adult) we are all affected by an experience like this.  If there is any counseling offered for any of you, I would take them up on it.  Read books that give suggestions as to how to cope with fear and so forth --- even a loss.  We do survive, but we suffer a loss of security and trust and "who we used to be".  Not that life doesn't make us change all on its own, but an experience like this (as I'm sure the stroke was too) really kicks us hard - for everyone that is involved. 

We weren't aware of any counseling (especially since there aren't any direct support groups around) and I think we just felt like we could handle everything on our own. 

The goal became more of the physical dealings with post surgery and diagnosis -- the whole trying to get your body back to functioning.  But in hind-sight, we forgot about the mental toll it takes on everyone.  And it doesn't always show up right away or in ways you'd think should be obvious.

For me, finding this site was a God send (after searching for 6 years) - obviously I wasn't over the experience and just needed that connection and understanding.

You and your children might benefit from being in touch with those on your side of the experience and I know our families are open to any contact also -- my kids are now 11, 14, 17, and 19, and even though life goes on, little things here and there can conjure up memories and we try to just deal with them as they come.

I know these are just words here and you are right in the thick of it, so just know that all my love, caring, and understanding are going out to all of you.

I got to go home 10 days after surgery.  I had reached my limit of patience being at the hospital (I ended up with a younger patient next to me in my room and her surgery was more of a minor one but the way she whined and complained at the nurses (not about her pain mind you) and they way she verbally "beat up" on her mother-- I just couldn't take it.  She just didn't get how lucky she was to have these people in her life.  So I just wanted to get home, to move forward, and to get better.  It wasn't easy by all means, but in hind sight I'm glad I felt that way -- it kicked me in the pants to get on.

Take care and we are here for you --- I know miles and miles away, but just by plane.  Mentally - we are right there next to you! :)

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on January 28, 2011 at 1:39
Thank you so much for keeping us up to date. I am happy to hear the surgery went well. Please if you have any questions about anything, ask us. Know that you are not alone in all of this. We have many members who are the partner of someone who has been trough an AD and will be able to understand exactly what you are going through. Please know you, David and all of your family are in our thoughts. Tell your children thy are also welcome to join and ask as many questions as they need too.

Take care
Comment by Carol Pont on January 28, 2011 at 0:19
Its lovely too hear from you that the surgery went well. I had the surgery on the saturday 28.08.10 and was woken up on monday. So still all very new too me still. I can imagine what your children are going through. My friends were going frantic until i woke up. Your are all in my thoughts and my prayers. God bless. Carol


Our AD Facebook Page!

Visit Our Facebook Page/

OR - Post our Website Link to your Facebook Wall Profile
If you have the QR decode app in your smart camera phone - hold your camera phone over this QR CODE and it will automatically take your smart phone (*if you have the internet enabled on your phone) to our Facebook Page!

 OR - Use the QR Code above

What's a QR Code??
Download QR Reader App.

Our Twitter Feed!


© 2020   Created by Graeme.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service