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Ian has Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. On Memorial Day, 2008, he suffered a double aortic aneurysm dissection, nearly died, & had emergency surgery. He had surgery again on 02-01-10 & will likely need many more. Disability denied.

***UPDATE:  06-18-2010  Once again, Ian has been denied disability from Social Security. The report stated that "although you have a severe, potentially life-threatening illness, and have had numerous surgeries, disability is denied, because you could still do some sort of light work."   Despite this latest set-back, Ian is continuing to try to live and enjoy life as best he can.  He and Kara are getting married Aug. 7th.  Please pray for continued good health.  God's Blessings & Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.***


On Memorial Day nite, May 26, 2008, my youngest son, Ian, (who will be 23 on August 12th) wasn't feeling well. His girlfriend, Kara, called me to try to get a lil "Mama pressure" and get Ian to agree to go to the hospital to get checked out. He was just going about his day, when he suddenly began to feel short of breath, chest pain, back pain and his legs felt funny. He also started vomiting. While on the phone with Kara, and listening to all of his symptoms, I heard him say that he couldn't feel anything and Kara told me he suddenly went unresponsive. I told her to hang up and dial 911. I immediately called my oldest son, Erik, who lived across town from Ian and Kara. They all live in Crawfordsville, IN. I reminded Erik about the particulars of Ian's medical history and allergies to medications, about his previous chest surgery and the suspicion of Marfan Syndrome. I told Erik to have the ER doctor, at St. Clare's Medical Center, call me, if he had any questions and to keep me updated. Naturally, I started packing a napsack and drove from my home in Lynchburg, TN to Crawfordsville, IN.

Erik called me, when the paramedics were there and they rushed him off to the ER. Shortly after Ian arrived @ the ER, the doctor on duty called me and advised that Ian needed to be airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for emergency surgery. Ian had suffered an aortic dissection.
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, which consists of an aortic arch, which extends from the left ventricle of the heart (the largest chamber) and then descends, over the left lung and near the spinal column, into the trunk and abdomen of the body. From there, it supplies the other major arteries of the lower body.
In an aortic dissection, a weakened area of the aorta tears loose and causes massive internal bleeding, leading to unconsciousness, multi-system organ failure and, in most cases, rapid death.
I knew that the chances of survival, with an aortic dissection, were slim to none. In most cases, patients die within the first 20 minutes.
I IMMEDIATELY asked Jesus to wrap his protective and loving arms around Ian, to keep him safe during his helicopter flight, during his surgery and to heal him. I also prayed that He would get me to my son's side safely and quickly. The doctor indicated that Ian was talking and relatively comfortable, at that time, and that the helicopter was nearly there. Erik had signed the consent for transport. What a wonderful, brave and loving big brother he is. I told the doctor to tell Ian that Mama was on her way.

During this time, I also alerted the rest of my immediate family. My Mama and Daddy drove to Indy, about 2-1/2 hrs from their house, as did my brother and sisnlaw, who had been at a church picnic, and immediately had a prayer session and began alerting the prayer chain. My trip would be about 6-1/2 hours, but there would be no flights to take before 5 am, and this was all happening about 9pm. I could get there much faster...not to mention that I had my dog, Soxx "load up" in the truck and we were on our way.
I messaged a few other close, dear friends in my prayer chain and asked them to initiate our branches of the chain and to pray for Jesus to wrap Ian tightly in His arms. I put my "How Great Thou Art" cd of gospel songs from the Opry in the cd player and sang and prayed.

My sisnlaw called me, while I was driving and told me that everyone was @ the Methodist Hospital in Indy and that Ian was in surgery. It's kinda interesting.....along the way, I was able to find a wonderful gospel radio station, no matter where I was at. As one faded, another was easily found....this kept my mind clear and spirits up and I arrived @ the hospital in Indy in 5 hours....LORD, I HAD WINGS!!

I went to the waiting room and met with my family....lots of hugs and tears and smiles....and we waited and waited...Ian had gone into surgery @ 1230 am and didnt get out until almost 9am.
The surgeon came in to talk to all of us...Dr. Fehrenbacher advised us that Ian came through the surgery well...that his condition was extremely grave, when he arrived..that he had been near complete and total organ failure and lost alot of blood.
He credited the fact that Ian had received definitive care so very quickly. If Kara had not been with him, when the aorta dissected, he would have surely died.
If the paramedics hadn't been on their best game, he would have surely died.
If the ER doc @ St. Clare's hadn't been smart enough to see the signs, order the right tests, and call the helicopter, he would have surely died.
If the helicopter crew hadn't taken such good care of him, he would have surely died.
If that surgeon hadn't been top notch, he would have surely died.
If Jesus didn't have His arms wrapped around Ian...guiding the paramedics and the helicopter medics and the doctors and nurses and the surgeon's hands and mind....Ian would have surely died and gone to be with our Lord in Heaven.
But, he is HERE....ALIVE and with us....
It was touch and go, for a while....Ian began to make great progress....getting the breathing tube out Tuesday night, after less than 24 hours, instead of the next day, as expected.
He DID have to go through 2 rounds of kidney dialysis, because his kidneys weren't filtering correctly. Ian spent 9 days in the hospital & the surgeon said that he was a walking miracle.

In December, 2009, Ian called me and said he was having a burning and pinching pain between his shoulder blades. I called Dr. Fehrenbacher's office and he ordered a complete CT of his chest, back and abdomen.

The results showed another aneurysm below the aortic graft and Ian underwent surgery, again, on Feb. 1, 2010 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. This time, they grafted the entire aortic arch, 5 inches of descending aorta, both carotid arteries in his neck and his left subclavian artery.

He still has a 30% partial thickness tear to the rest of his abdominal aorta, which may develop aneurysm at any time. There is also a small aneurysm on his left iliac artery (in his upper left leg).

That's 2 major, life-threatening surgeries in less than 2 years and there is a 70% chance of more surgeries down the road, due to this condition.

Ian will never be able to return to any sort of strenuous work, which includes his aspirations of being a firefighter, like his Uncle Phil, and like his Mama used to be. He also can never return to his job building and maintaining custom swimming pools. He cannot lift greater than 25 lbs, which means he can't pick up his "stepdaughter", Lilly...who is 4 years old...who explains Ian's ordeal in ways that only a small child can...she explains that "Ian has a boo-boo...that the doctor had to cut (making scissors with her fingers) Ian and fix his heart"...isn't that precious?!

But, as God has provided miracles, so far, in this situation, we have faith that He will continue to provide.

Ian is engaged to be married to Kara and wants to have a family and as normal a life as possible. They will be married on August 7, 2010. I'm so very proud that he has found a wonderful woman to stand by his side!

The medical bills, so far, are over $800,000.

He has only had sporadic temporary work, since his original surgery and is just beginning to be able to do small things after this last surgery. He has huge scars down the center of his chest and from under the left breast area, through the armpit and up and around his left shoulder blade. Needless to say, there is much pain and discomfort involved.

Ian needs our help. Please give whatever you can to help him!

"And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ." Philemon 1:6


For more information on Marfan Syndrome, please Google.

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