Charles Pratt’s story is a remarkable one, highlighted by resilience, determination, and an outcome that defied all of the odds. Mr. Pratt’s emergency health situation and his treatment at the CVT Surgical Center and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center unveils a tale punctuated by modern medicine’s prowess and the unbreakable will of both patient and physician.

Complications from an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

A native of Lake Charles, Mr. Pratt was mere days away from a major move to Shreveport to be closer to his daughter when he faced an unexpected and dire setback – he started coughing up blood. Immediately, Mr. Pratt knew what was wrong and recognized the gravity of his situation. Six years prior, he had been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. At just over 5cm, the treatment approach was to place a stent. However, as the aneurysm grew, it rubbed against his duodenum (the first section of the small intestine), leading to a fistula, and putting Mr. Pratt in a fight for his life.

Repairing an Aortoduodenal Fistula

Upon his arrival at Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, the urgency of his condition became painfully evident as scans revealed the incredible growth of his aneurysm (now at 9cm) and the accompanying aortoduodenal fistula. Time was of the essence, and the search for a medical sanctuary led them to Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. With no time to lose, an aerial lift bridged the gap between impending peril and hope.

As fate would have it, the on-call surgeon at OLOL that early morning was Dr. Matthew Abate of CVT Surgical Center. In a compassionate and candid conversation at 5 a.m., Dr. Abate laid out the gravity of the situation. The surgical intervention required was intense and carried its risks. The stakes were undoubtedly high, with a projected survival rate of 40-50% for the surgery. But as Charles recalled, the decision was unequivocally a yes. Despite the daunting prognosis, Mr. Pratt’s unyielding spirit chose life: “When they put the mask on, I thought, maybe I wake up, maybe I won’t. But I had to do it.” With the combined might of five surgeons and Dr. Abate’s seasoned expertise, the critical surgery became a dance between risk and remedy.

Surviving and Recovering from an Aortoduodenal Fistula

Mr. Pratt’s resilience manifested in ways that left many in awe after surgery. The ventilator usually symbolizes prolonged recovery, but it was discarded in Mr. Pratt’s case within a day. More astoundingly, the hospital’s corridors saw him walking just two days post-op, epitomizing the adage – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Recovering from a medical intervention of this magnitude can be tricky, but the CVT Surgical Center and Our Lady of the Lake team were paramount. With Mr. Pratt’s strong will and Dr. Abate’s guidance, they worked toward his successful recovery.

Mr. Pratt today isn’t just a patient who recuperated; he embodies medical science’s progress and sheer human determination. In reflection, Mr. Pratt’s voice quivers with gratitude. “I am here because of God and Dr. Abate and his entire team,” he expressed. Charles recognized the combination of divine intervention, medical brilliance, and personal resilience, saying, “I feel so grateful and fortunate to have been in his care. I would recommend Dr. Abate and the entire CVT team to anyone.”

When asked about Mr. Pratt’s challenging situation, Dr. Abate reflected, “When Mr. Pratt arrived with a complex aneurysm issue, his condition was critical. After reviewing his CT scan at Our Lady of the Lake, he clearly needed urgent surgery. Even with the operation, there was a 60% mortality rate. But Mr. Pratt was determined. With the combined expertise of my team at CVT, especially Dr. Davis, who joined me at 4 a.m., we embarked on a challenging 5-6 hour procedure. Many from our team stepped in to assist. This case underscores CVT’s dedication and teamwork, which were pivotal in saving Mr. Pratt’s life and ensuring his recovery.”

Mr. Charles Pratt’s remarkable journey with Dr. Abate and the CVT Surgery Center team is a testament to the miracles birthed at the intersection of medical brilliance and human will. For those standing at a crossroads, grappling with medical challenges, Mr. Pratt’s story is a glowing beacon, signaling that a promising, vibrant future awaits with determination and the proper care.