Terry Traina’s first memory of March 2011 is of waking in a hospital bed with his friend, Diane Buss, stroking his face.”She said, “Ëœyou’re really sick’ and she took my hand and put it on my trach,’” Traina said. “I just remember shaking my head because I couldn’t believe it.” Traina had been a patient at Centegra Hospital-McHenry for five weeks after suffering a near-fatal ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Traina called 911 Feb. 9 because he thought he was suffering from a kidney stone. When the paramedics arrived at his house and found Traina collapsed on the floor, they suspected he had a AAA. They immediately notified Centegra Hospital-McHenry, and emergency room staff contacted vascular surgeon, Dr. Richard Lind, who was on call. Lind arrived at the hospital at the same time as Traina.”I drew the short stick and the long stick on the same day,” Traina said. “I had a ruptured AAA, but the good thing was I was close to Centegra Hospital-McHenry and Dr. Lind.” Considering fewer than 5 percent of people with ruptured AAAs survive, it was remarkable that Traina lived through surgery. The next day, however, his major organ systems began to shut down. He suffered a series of heart attacks and strokes and his kidneys failed. His daughter flew in from Georgia to join the rest of her family and their friends at his bedside because his prognosis was grave.
Centegra Hospital-McHenry set up a nurse station in his Intensive Care Unit room and provided 24-hour care seven days a week. Traina’s family said the nurses kept him alive by combining their exemplary skills with dedication to their patient.
“My family told me the nurses would sit by my bed and talk in my ear,” Traina said. “For three and a half weeks they were on high alert.” Traina remained in a drug-induced coma until five weeks after his AAA rupture. He spent time in a rehabilitation facility before he went home to begin the rest of his recovery. He began therapy at the Centegra Neuro-Rehabilitation Center to regain skills he lost because of his strokes.In just five months, Traina has made an almost complete recovery. He has just a few neuro-rehabilitation sessions left and exercises by himself each day at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center-Crystal Lake. He said he researched AAA ruptures and talked to clinicians about the typical prognosis and he is forever grateful for the lifesaving care he received at Centegra.”I like to call myself a medical anomaly,” Traina said. “To call this a miracle puts too much pressure on me and short changes the people who did this. It takes the credit away from them. They saved my life and I will be forever grateful.”