Well, I stopped by the hospital and saw Don today. He was sitting up and watching a little tv from his chair. He's moving from the bed to the chair, although once there, he'd prefer to stay.
We had a long talk about his surgery, and his daughter Lindsey was there to fill in missing details for me.
He was under the knife for about six hours. He had 5 arterial aneurysms. They pretty much opened him up wide from just under his sternum to the tops of his legs. They removed 4 arteries and replaced them with... I kid you not.... kevlar. Yes, Don has boat parts on his inside, too! He's also bulletproof, if they shoot him from the inside and aim only at his artery.
One of the arteries was supposed to be about 10mm, and it was 7 cm. That would be, in medical terms, bad. There is a 5th aneurysm, but they worked on it a bit, and they think they will probably only have to put in a stent, which could be done outpatient, and things will be fine there.
While we visited, he was told they have a room for him in the regular ward, so he is out of the ICU. This is better for visits, and means he is no doubt better all the time. He will be in for at least a week, and then he'll be on recovery at home, so he will definitely want visitors.
This could have been a really big deal. A good way to let you know how big is this-- If you have an aneurysm and it finally gives out, if you are not within spitting distance of a hospital, or in the process of being run over by an ambulance, they can't get to you in time to save you. You just bleed out that fast. Don (and all of us,) are very lucky that not only did he have a warning, but that he heeded that warning and got checked out. He was admitted and scheduled for surgery in about a 2 hour time frame. If you have ever tried to get hospitals to do something fast, you know what this meant.
Don is in high spirits, although he knows it is going to be quite a healing process. He's also going to have one hell of an impressive scar. He's very grateful for all the thoughts and well wishes. He has no problems having a few visitors, although you might want to call first. Lindsey is, for the moment, strictly enforcing his cell phone/email ban (Andrew couldn't take more than an hour of that.) He is at Edwards Hospital in Naperville.
Hope everyone is well; Don sends his best to all.
22 October 2011
Our Skipper Don had emergency surgery
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