Kingwood
October 28, 2015

Photo: Heart Patient Randy Parr reunites with Cardiovascular Surgeon Stephen Maniscalco, M.D. a month after open heart surgery that repaired his aortic dissection at The Cardiovascular Center at Kingwood Medical Center.

Aortic dissection is a life-threatening emergency. It occurs when the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, “dissects” or tears. Blood leaks through the tear into the wall of the main aorta, causing the inner layers of the aorta to separate. This condition most frequently occurs in men in their 60s and 70s and the mortality rate is very high. Only a few survive.

One of the survivors is Randall Parr, a 61-year old longtime resident of Kingwood. He praises God for ultimately saving his life and believes God’s hands led him to Kingwood Medical Center and to cardiovascular surgeon Stephen Maniscalco, M.D.  

Mr. Parr remembers waking up suddenly during the night dreaming he was in medieval times, competing in a jousting match and his opponent had just bested him by poking him with a pole. However, the severe pain in his chest that woke him up was no dream. When he tried to stand, he felt another blow to his chest and immediately collapsed to the floor, conscious, but unable to stand. His wife called 911. The paramedics arrived and rushed him to Kingwood Medical Center.

Mr. Parr said, “We live twenty minutes from Kingwood Medical Center, where as luck would have it, Dr. Steven Maniscalco, happened to be making rounds early that morning. His condition was quickly diagnosed and emergency surgery began.

 Mr. Parr spent the next several hours undergoing open-heart surgery. Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Maniscalco completed a trifecta aortic valve replacement. Mr. Parr spent the next several days unconscious on a ventilator, as his body rested and began to heal. 

Mr. Parr remained at the hospital for 22 days, mostly in intensive care, with his last ten days in rehab. After open-heart surgery, he learned that the sternum takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal. During that time, he could not lift anything over 10 pounds or stretch his arms out in a way that might pull open his chest. Fortunately, the staff at Kingwood Medical Center helped him discover how he could do things for himself as he prepared to return to his normal routine.

His wife Donnie said, “The staff has been tremendous. Randall’s nurses are compassionate and seem to genuinely care. They have done an excellent job of keeping our family well informed throughout his stay. He has received the best care at Kingwood Medical Center.”

During his open heart surgery, a second aneurysm in the descending aorta was identified. Mr. Parr said, “My doctor felt like my body had enough trauma for one surgery and I would be better off spending time healing and coming back later to take care of the second aneurysm. So two months after the first surgery, I returned to the hospital to have a stent placed in the second aneurysm. This was a much less invasive procedure.”

Mr. Parr remembers waking up from the second surgery, both of the nurses who work in Cardiac Rehab, Tiffany and Vicky, were standing beside his bed. He said, “They had come to visit me on their day off, because they were concerned about me.” Mr. Parr added, “People at Kingwood Medical Center not only provide the technical medical care needed, but also treat patients like family because they genuinely care. I believe this personal caring is an important part of the healing process.”

Today, three months after receiving open heart surgery, Randall Parr is full of life. As he walks to cardiac rehab as an outpatient to rebuild his strength, he ponders why he survived while most die of aortic dissection. He said, “I thank God for allowing me to spend more time here with family and friends and I’m thankful for Dr. Maniscalco and all the physicians, nurses and medical professionals at Kingwood Medical Center.” He added, “I believe in the power of prayer. We had people all over the country praying for us. Even some in other countries! And people who don't even know us! Sometimes "going viral" can be a good thing!”

“We are extremely proud of the patient outcomes with our Open Heart Program,” said Melinda Stephenson, CEO of Kingwood Medical Center. “Our highly-skilled cardiovascular team, innovative technologies and specialized programs are all aimed at preventing, diagnosing, treating and helping patients recover from cardiovascular disease. The Open Heart Program at Kingwood Medical Center opened in November of 2007 with the help of cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon Dr. Stephen Maniscalco, a former faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine. Today Dr. Maniscalco, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon Dr. John Davis, a former faculty member at the Texas Heart Institute, and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Jon-Cecil Walkes perform on average 150 open heart surgeries each year at Kingwood Medical Center. Additionally, our quality, close-to-home care means heart patients can avoid the added stress of traveling outside of their own communities. Here, we put our hearts into caring for yours.”

For more information about the Cardiovascular services at Kingwood Medical Center, please visit our website www.KingwoodMedical.com. For a physician referral, please call 1-800-258-5064.

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For more information, contact Cristina Lafuente at Cristina.Lafuente@HCAhealthcare.com or 281-348-8988.

Photo above: Heart aneurysm survivor Randy Parr with his wife Donnie at the Cardiac Rehab at Kingwood Medical Center three months after open heart surgery that repaired his aortic dissection.

About Kingwood Medical Center
22999 U.S. Highway 59 North, Kingwood, TX  77339
Kingwood Medical Center opened in 1991, and is home to the area’s premier comprehensive cardiac care program and neuroscience program. With the recent addition of the Pediatric Emergency Center, the hospital has expanded that level of high-quality care to include their youngest patients. Located at the intersection of Highway 59 and Kingwood Drive and serving Harris, Montgomery, Liberty and San Jacinto Counties, Kingwood Medical Center offers 373 licensed beds, including a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 475 board-certified physicians, Kingwood Medical Center offers expertise and an outstanding level of care in breast health, imaging, gynecology, obstetrics, high-risk pregnancy, pediatrics, orthopedics, inpatient rehabilitation, urology, wound care, 24/7 emergency services, surgical services and minimally-invasive surgery. Kingwood Medical Center is recognized by the state of Texas as a Primary Stroke Center, is Joint Commission Accredited for Disease Specific Certification in Stroke, has an Accredited Sleep Disorder Center, an Accredited Diabetes Center, and an Accredited Chest Pain Assessment Center with PCI Cycle IV. Our commitment to excellence has produced the following awards: American Stroke Association’s Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award and Stroke Honor Roll, the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Bronze-Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Texas Ten Step Program Designation for Maternity care Practices. For more information, visit our website at www.KingwoodMedical.com.


About HCA Gulf Coast Division
HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities.  It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas’ residents and businesses.  HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 13 hospitals, 8 ambulatory centers, 7  off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides one-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius.  For more information, visit our website at www.HCAGulfCoast.com.