Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder and his wife, Susan, were visiting Colorado on a ski vacation from Alabama when Tom’s leg suddenly went numb.

Susan called 9-1-1 and an ambulance took Tom to the hospital in Vail. Doctors there confirmed he had an aortic dissection, a life-threatening condition in which there is a tear in the main artery that supplies blood to the heart. This condition is so critical that the survival rate is only 20 percent.

“The doctor took me aside and let me know that this was really serious and that Tom would need surgery right away,” said Susan. “I remember saying goodbye to my husband and the long ride to Denver. That was a pretty tough day.”

Tom was transferred to The Medical Center of Aurora, where the skilled and experienced cardiovascular surgical team was prepped and ready to take him into operating room for surgery.

“No matter who came in the room, whether it was a doctor or a nurse or any of the other staff, they always asked if there was anything else we needed or anything that they could do,” said Susan. “That just meant so much to us.”

After a successful surgery, Tom was transferred to the intensive care unit at The Medical Center of Aurora to recover.

“I was incredibly impressed with the entire staff and all of the nurses. I am just amazed at how well they took care of him. I feel really lucky that they were there for Tom. And they took care of me a little, too,” said Susan.

“If this had happened anywhere else, I am not sure the outcome would have been the same,” said Tom.