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patient-story What started as a trip for a family celebration of Passover turned into an eight-month journey of treatment, care, and recovery for noted author and professor emeritus Arnold A. Offner. Arnie’s wife, Ellen, jumped into action when Arnie experienced intense fatigue and shoulder and neck pain after a long drive from their Newton, MA, home to the Connecticut Shoreline to visit family. A series of emergency department visits and tests identified Arnie’s condition as an aortic dissection—a rare, serious, and often-fatal heart condition—and two surgeries ultimately saved his life. But his road to recovery was far from over. Arnie was admitted to Spaulding Charlestown in early June, almost two months after his ordeal began. “I was propelled by the people around me at Spaulding,” says Arnie. “Seeing them, I knew I could get better.” He got stronger daily, transitioning from using a wheelchair to a walker, and regaining his strength to complete activities of everyday living. Arnie got outside to walk on the promenade daily as part of his rehabilitation (though he admits to figuring out a shortcut in the route!). Through all his challenges, Arnie says he improved in part because his Spaulding therapists “wouldn’t quit on me.” One member of his

Meet Arnie


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