NORWICH – A Norwich native is among one of the rarest examples of medical marvel of the twentieth century, and for more than a quarter century – he has defied the odds and continued living despite the ill fortune of a compromised heart condition.
It was late January 1989 when Tom Cook, Norwich High School graduate – class of '81, was rushed to a Washington area hospital for chest pain, resulting devastating diagnosis.
Cook was told that he would need a heart valve replacement in order to survive only after undergoing a emergency repair procedure of his aorta, the main artery of the human body that supplies all of the systemic circulation – which means that the entire body, except for the lungs receives its blood from the aorta.
Nearly a week after his surgery at the Washington Medical Canter – while awaiting discharge – Cook began to notice that something felt wrong. While watching the heart monitors at his bedside, he began to wonder if all was well in his chest.