California woman visits Mass. doctor for heartwarming reunion

A young woman from California had a heartwarming reunion with the doctor who operated on her almost 20 years ago.

When Katy Drennan was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare aortic disease and underwent surgery at a California hospital with Dr. Louis Messina.

Messina is now a division chief at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Drennen is now 21 and has since outgrown her aortic repair, so when it was time to get it fixed she flew 3,000 miles so the man who saved her life the first time could do the surgery again.

“Just knowing that I’ve gone through it before, even when I was really young I knew I could do it again and I was confident he could fix me,” she said.

The extremely high risk and painful procedure was again a success.

“This is one of the incredible privileges of being a physician, surgeon who can help someone with a life-threatening condition,” Messina said.

Just a week later, Drennan is as good as new, more thankful than ever and headed back home to California.

With this surgery, she will not need another repair for the rest of her life.


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