Forty-nine year old Alan Moses had a series of medical tests in July 1995; afterwards, he was admitted to Presbyterian hospital in Philadelphia for a cardiac catheterization. It was five months prior to Alan’s 50th birthday. Unfortunately, the cath results were that Alan needed an immediate quintuple bypass procedure. Alan was told that he would be up and out of the hospital in five days.
Instead, Alan woke in September; football season was just beginning and everyone was rushing in to tell him how long he had been “out.” It was almost enough to put Alan out again. Alan learned that during his surgery, he “spit acid from my stomach on to my lungs and the acid caused the lungs to stop working.”
Alan was lucky that his oldest brother is a professor of surgery at Thomas Jefferson Medical College and was able to see that there was a reason that he could not be weaned from the ventilator after the cardiac procedure, contrary to the operating doctors opinion. His brother was also able to contact a former student of his, who was a pulmonary specialist at Presbyterian, and Alan attributes this fact, that Dr. Alan Freedman being able to treat him within 7 hours of his operation as a key factor in saving his life.
All of that being said, the last eight years have been difficult for Alan. He did three years of therapy being diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. Thereafter, Alan had two good years. He walked every day, played golf three times a week and enjoyed life again. However, the past three years have been miserable, always reverting back to the coma and the near death experience.
Alan’s life has gotten a little better since May 13, 2003. His grandson was born and Alan just adores him. However, in the past two years, Alan has had two minor strokes which cause him concern since he does not have high blood pressure, and makes Alan wonder if it is related to his ARDS experience. Alan would like to get input from others who have had similar ARDS experiences.