BY MARCY SHORTUSE - When island resident Cal Groton went to have a small red mark on his leg checked out, he had no idea how many life-changing decisions would come before him in the next few months.
It all started with that little red mark in February, 2011. Dr. Russell Samson, a doctor with Sarasota Vascular Specialists, saw Cal in his office and asked if he would attend a screening at the Community House. He signed up and paid for the ultrasound and other tests that go along with it, then got the shock of his life.
A 4.2 centimeter aneurysm had showed up on Cal’s descending aorta, and while he felt completely healthy, this was a definite problem.
Four days later, Cal was back in Dr. Samson’s Sarasota office for a second test, a peripheral angiogram. This time a second aneurysm was located, only it was on his left iliac. This was an even bigger cause for concern for Samson.
It was determined that Cal needed surgery sometime in the near future. While he and his wife, Loulie Mauran, were able to go on a European trip that spring, afterward Cal returned to his summer home in Rhode Island and had a second opinion. He also went to Boston and had a third opinion, and all three doctors concurred on their findings – Cal needed the surgery.
Normally stents would be put in, but in Cal’s case they didn’t work. His surgeons had to open his chest and do things the old-fashioned way, which left him with a longer recuperation time. He is just happy to still be around, though, and took the surgery with a grain of salt. So much so, he is now playing tennis again and taking long walks.
“These screenings at the clinic definitely save lives,” he said. “I’m very grateful to the Boca Grande Health Clinic that they not only have the screenings, but that they have a vascular surgeon right there to answer questions. You don’t have to speculate for days on what your test results mean.”
Good health is very important to Cal, especially since he’s a newlywed. He is spending his fifth season on the island with Loulie, and enjoying every bit of their time together.
“I’m 81, and I feel great,” he said. “I wouldn’t have this good health if I hadn’t had those tests hosted by the health clinic ... and if it weren’t for that little red mark.”
The Boca Grande Health Clinic will be hosting three vascular scans for $99 per person on Monday and Tuesday, March 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Louise duPont Crowninshield Community House. They are provided by Dr. Samson, MD, FACS, RVT of Sarasota Vascular Specialists.
The scans will include: Stroke / Carotid Artery Ultrasound; Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Test; and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Test.
The price will include a free spider vein and varicose vein consultation.
Appointments are necessary. Call Hilary Carver at 371-6565 to schedule an appointment.
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