Hi Friends/Family: I am centralizing communication so we can lift dad up together and I can keep all the people that matter so much to him and our family up to speed on dad's critical condition. Thank you for caring, and praying and offering support as we move through this.
Dad had an Aortic dissection and later an Aneurysm on the operating table. This is a bit of the story - we are 3.5 days in.
Leading up to why we are here - there were not immediate or "leading up to" type of signs that something major was about to happen. The start of this week found dad doing what he loved...playing or watching golf. He has spent the first two days of the week with his dear friend Kevin Burke (Judge), watching Judge's daughter Kate (who dad loves to watch) play golf in Rochester. Nothing out of the ordinary - Doc and Judge doing golf stuff. Wednesday things happened. Prior to this week, beginning of June, he passed a kidney stone - part of the medical workup involved imaging and they saw just a slight enlargement of his Aorta, but not enough, or out of character for a 75 YO man with his health, to warrant surgery during Covid and the rest of him was checking out fine. That was 6 weeks prior. Uncontrolled BP is a very common driver, but not sure if we will know which was the one that triggered all of this.
On Wednesday July 15th, mid morning, dad was at home and went from 0 to 10 in pain in a matter of minutes. He had searing pain in his chest on the opposite side of his heart, horrible back pain, abdomen pain, and could not feel his left leg. Alison (his sister), called 911 and they were there within minutes and got him to 212 hospital in Chaska - this was the right first move if he was having a heart attack. Further evaluation was not waving flags of a heart attack once in the ER at 212 - from the EKG, and Troponin- relatively normal, but his D-Dimer was elevated (indicating a possible clot somewhere), and the pain was not subsiding, they gave him some morphine but things were starting to point to a problem with the aorta, and 212 did not have the imaging equipment to confirm. They made plans to get him to Abbott - they also called in a Thoracic surgeon from the Mayo and the heart surgeon they wanted was in the cities - and if it was a Aortic dissection with possible blood clots - there are a few teams that they assemble for what often times will be between 6-10 hour surgery if they survive. He was into the OR by 2:00 and they went for 9+ hours.
Below are the updates I was texting - which help paint a picture as to what the last 72 hours have been like for papa.