Stent talk.

Dying a third time. 2017. A fifth of a pint of blood, a tenth of a litre,

 removed from the left half of my brain into a bottle. Perhaps more.

Prague hospital this time. Excellent treatment. Six lives left.


Ivor dying again, second time! Brain surgery Right half. Sept. 2014



22.8.2018 [re 2007]


This part written 22.5.2024

2 Oct. 2007.  2am woke Liba up vomiting, called the ambulance. 20mins ambulance came, Ivor unconscious. Periodically regained consciousness. Take to hospital.

5am Liba reveived a phone call saying; “Come to the hospital. Ivor probably dying.” Liba got a taxi, £20, to the hospital. Some time later another taxi back home. £20. Ivor thewn 8 months in hospital, 2 months in intensive care.


dana lowe

4:48 AM (5 hours ago)

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to corrie,, me

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I can’t help thinking it was a special gift that you didn’t die in Watford Hospital. I had been told by the consultants that you had suffered multiple organ failure twice and had been in two comas and had the killer hospital bug. I was told that they did not think your brain was functioning. I had this idea that in a half asleep woozy state a patient wouldn’t really know if they were on their way out, or if they could recover. Then I walked up to you, your eyes were shut, and I spoke into one of your ears and said, “Ivor you know that you do not have to die”. It was as if you woke up for a second, your head jerked back and both your eyes opened for a moment....

It would be good if you could see these extra years of life as a gift and use them for good.



Below, re 2007

17 months

8 months in hospital, 3 months in intensive care. Total experience from 7 October 2007 to 6 March 2009 and beyond.;

Also here

Another version

3 March 2009.Below is a summary, but with the addition that yesterday the rest of the stent (metal tube) was removed from my oesophagus (gullet). I have pain, and will eat (actually only drink) gently for a day or two. Then the wonderful vista of normal eating should open up for me, something I have missed for 17 months, since disaster struck.

Ivor Catt

6 March. First real meal (for 17 months) at Mr. Wu, one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, between Leicester Square and the National Portrait Gallery. A very emotional experience. 11 March; Now I was able to eat properly, we went on a Nile Cruise (our third) for a week on 11 March. Wonderful, with wonderful food on the boat.



The disaster starts.

The ambulance took Ivor into hospital for an eight month stay on 7/10/07.

Hospital notes for 9/10/07;
"Discussion with Mrs Catt. Explained extremely severe multiple organ failure - we are wakling (sp?) him moment by moment. The prognosis is very poor. She understands fully. [signed .... ]

Sept. 2016. I asked a doctor what “multiple organ failure” meant. She replied; “It means you’re dead.” So I must have been extremely dead. – IC a decade later.

"Huge oesophageal rupture from 33-40cm [from mouth] .... 12cm covered stent inserted. .... Oesophageal stent inserted by Mr. Livingstone." [Generally, the tear was said to be 7cm. -IC]

8/11/07 " .... Metal stent seen in distal oesophagus. Not covering all of perforation. .... " signed Jonathan Nolan.

19/11/07 13.30 "Oesophageal rupture,partially stented. .... "
17.45 "Returned from theatre. .... Had further oesophageal stent to cover up remaining defect at lower oesophagus." [Ivor did not have a second stent, according to Livingstone.]

20/11/07 "Rest of oesophageal rupture trented yesterday."

Generally, Google on the www showed up documents which said that if treatment was delayed more than 48 hours it was usually fatal. I cannot now find those documents. Search for "oesophagus + rupture". Today I discovered that the stent put in after 3 weeks only partially dealt with the tear. I was re-stented 4 weeks later, 7 weeks after the original disaster.
"Mortality/Morbidity Even with prompt therapy and advances in surgical technique, the mortality rate can be very high, varying from 5-75%; higher rates correlate with delays in both presentation and diagnosis."


Three months after my first near-to-death set of reports (oct/nov07) I have found a grave situation again in my hospital reports for jan2008! As the months go by, I learn more and more about how serious my condition was. I am really impressed by being near to death, and then being near to death again three months later.


3 months later.

20 or 21/1/08

The exact cause of sudden deterioration is unknown.

He was at very high risk of major setback.

Currently on very high o2 & cardiovascular support.

The chances of recovery from this episode are almost nil.

He is likely to die tonight.

We will not attempt resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest.

They understood and agreed.

Informed Mr Catt's daughter Mrs. Lowe on phone and explained as above.

She will come in tomorrow am.


D/W wife. [Discussion with wife.]

Explained CT findings & improvement since the weekend. This has been a very serious setback & there are the ongiong problems of thoracic collections that are not yet resolved. I have explained that inotropes are not to be restarted. [signed] SOSKIN


We have been seeing this man daily and he is not improving. The past few days he has had a temperature .


I began eating from the mouth around May 2008 (previously receiving food and liquid by tube to the stomach). We now know that a constriction kept appearing above the stent, leading to vomiting and inability to eat normally. In time this led to Livingstone deciding to remove the stent. The process of removal took about ten sessions lasting for five months from September 2008 to March 2009. During that time there was a session involving cutting away at the stent (with the laser cutter) every two weeks, ending on 2 March 2009.

Between 29 September 2008 and 30 March 2009, I was put to sleep ("sedated") eleven times, while the stent was cut away.

On Monday 2 March 2009 Livingstone took out the remaining part of the stent (titanium and plastic) in my oesophagus (food tube). At that time he told me he had never taken one out before, that they were not designed for removal. I then had pain for four days. On Friday 6 May Liba and I went to our favorite Thai restaurant in Hemel Hempstead, and I had my first proper meal for 18 months. It was wonderful. We were now free to travel.
Next Monday I booked us on our third Nile cruise, and we went for a week on Wednesday 11th March. It was wonderful to be eating normally, and one day I walked slowly for three hours along the river bank in Aswan. I am now a pretty normal 73 year old, after a terrible 17 months.


Letter from Raymond Hurt, Lung and Oesophageal Surgeon.

See his books

See his books

17 June 09

Dear Ivor,

I enjoyed meeting you at the Art Society exhibition. You were a very lucky person to have survived this catastrophe. The mortality rate, unless treated early, is very high.

I enclose a photostat on ruptured oesophagus [pp335-340 of his own book "The History of Cardiothoracic Surgery"] and a flyer of a book on the history of thoracis surgery that I wrote in 1996 which may be of interest to you.

Best wishes, Raymond Hurt

P.S. I also enclose a flier of [my] biography of George Guthrie.

September 2013


Greece 2013 ;

4 October 2013 report ;


November 2014 Perhaps the problem

 is over, after 7 years!

It has stayed open with no stent for 25 days.

15 May 2014

8 May 2014


2013  Doctor's letter ; In Croatian


September 2013

Without a stent for 6 or 12 months. Then; September 2016








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