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Book Forward


It has been a great privilege for me to help treat patients with aortic disease during the past 20 years. I have no doubt that this book will provide much needed information to countless patients and their family members, and in doing so will certainly enhance understanding, alleviate fears, and save lives. I sincerely congratulate Mr. Epps on creating such an invaluable resource.

The story that Mr. Epps conveys—as an apparently healthy person who was completely unaware of his aortic condition until a major complication suddenly occurred—is altogether too common.

By arming patients with a thorough understanding of aortic disease, Mr. Epps aims to help them recognize aortic complications and seek medical attention earlier, understand the planned treatment, and face challenging situations with a positive outlook.

Patients and their families are often thrust into these perilous situations with little prior knowledge about the aorta, the types of disease it can harbor, and the treatments that are available. It is this critical need for information that has inspired and motivated Mr. Robert Epps to pursue his mission of spreading the word about aortic aneurysms and dissections.

To this end, for several years he has travelled throughout the United States to visit with affected patients, attend medical conferences and community meetings, and present informative lectures.

Now, through this book, he will be able to reach thousands more who are in need of both this important information and his reassuring message of hope. The beauty of this book is that it does not just explain aortic disease in terms of the countless available facts and figures.

It illuminates aortic disease by the most personal means possible—through Mr. Epps’ own story of his struggles and triumphs while living with disease affecting his entire aorta. His story is truly remarkable and his highway analogy portrays the normal aortic function and aortic disease extremely well. I believe this guide will be very valuable.


Scott A. LeMaire, M.D.

Professor of Surgery and of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Director of Research, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery

Baylor College of Medicine

Cardiovascular Surgery Service

Texas Heart Institute

at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Houston, Texas



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