John Ritter suffered the same medical fate as my late husband, Charles. Thoracic aortic dissection is a wicked medical event that is not a heart attack but symptomatically masks itself as one. So when the EKG gets run in the emergency room, it shows nothing. Since the unraveling of the aorta, which is what TAD is, may have temporarily subsided, no further testing appears called for and the patient is often unwittingly sent home to die.
John Ritter’s wife, Amy Yasbeck, channeled her grief into working with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) to develop a research program. Their mission is to prevent premature deaths due to thoracic aortic disease by improving diagnosis, treatment, and public awareness. Amy found a way to make something good come out of tragedy.
Please build on her success and make sure your loved ones are educated about the risk factors before it is too late. Her efforts are already credited with saving lives. Those folks, and maybe someone you love, owe a debt of gratitude to John, Amy, and UT Health - a terrific threesome.