At the age of 42, husband, father and business owner Ron Stellmaker was working out of his home office when he suddenly experienced brief blindness and then pain that felt like a bomb went off in his chest. He immediately yelled out to his wife, “Get me help, get me help now!” Ron suffered an aortic dissection that almost took his life.
After Ron was rushed to the Minneapolis Heart Institute®, a CT scan was performed to assess the situation. By using Vitrea® software, Dr. Schwartz determined that Ron had a torn aorta and needed emergency open-heart surgery. Ron’s aorta had split open like an onion, and his heart was pumping blood through the aorta and heart sac, which was suffocating the heart. Doctors determined they had a 15 minute window to get Ron into surgery. They patched his aorta and inserted a titanium valve to regulate the flow of blood from his heart to the rest of his body.
Ron made a full recovery and is thankful for the medical team and advanced visualization tools that helped save his life. After this life threatening experience, Ron considers every day a gift. He now lives each day by a message displayed in his office, “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not guaranteed, but today is a gift.”