A North Texas pastor is living proof of the marvels of modern medicine.
Ralph Gourley suffered a major cardiac event that could have meant open heart surgery and a months long recovery, but Gourley was back on his bicycle weeks after a large tear in the aorta of his heart almost killed him.
He was airlifted from his home in Muenster, Texas to Texas Health Dallas, where doctors were able to perform a minimally invasive procedure called TEVAR that allows them to go through a catheter in his leg to repair the aortic tear.
Gourley was out of the hospital three days after the procedure and good as new.
“An aortic dissection can happen suddenly, and it can end fatally,” said Dr. Brandon Hill, a cardiothoracic surgeon on the Texas Health Dallas medical staff.
“In Gourley’s case, we were able to make a small incision in his right leg using a catheter with a stent graft attached to it. With the aid of X-ray technology, we thread the stent graft near his torn artery wall. Once the stent is in place, we expand it, creating a new channel for proper blood flow.”
"At my two week check up, he looked me over and he said, 'get on your bike whenever you're ready,' and so I did a short 9 mile ride probably right at two months after my surgery," says Gourley.
Last weekend, he rode 62 miles in a single trip.