A Patient's Story: Richard Varrato

July 19, 2016

When Tom Varrato's father visited the emergency room last October for what he thought was a bad stomach bug, he had no idea how serious his dad's condition was until doctors discovered he needed life saving surgery to correct a dangerous ischemic bowel.

Richard Varrato, a vibrant 83-year-old from Meriden, described the pain in his stomach as severe. Doctors and clinicians at MidState's Emergency Department performed a CT scan and other tests to get to the root of Richard's problem, but the diagnosis was not good. Richard had an ischemic bowel, better explained as a heart attack in the stomach, characterized by loss of blood flow to the intestines. This condition usually occurs in the elderly population and can be fatal.

Richard's surgeon, Louis Meyer, MD knew he would do everything in his power to help, but warned that Richard might need a colostomy bag. Despite the overwhelming risk of surgery, it went successfully. Dr. Meyer removed seven and a half feet of Richard's lower intestine and was able to reattach his digestive tract properly.

In response to his experience, Richard's son, Tom, wrote, "I want to thank you for saving my dad's life. Dr. Meyer is an unreal surgeon. All of the staff was fantastic. I can't express my feelings other than I love you guys and girls. Through a tragic beginning there's a fantastic end."

MidState Medical Center