West Pittston man diagnosed with COVID-19, aneurysm and pneumonia to miraculously conquer all


WEST PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) We’ve heard some inspirational stories of people recovering from serious bouts with COVID-19. One such recovery is quite remarkable because coronavirus wasn’t the only health threat a Luzerne County man had to overcome during the pandemic.

That man showed up here a few months ago at Geisinger Wyoming Valley with three serious health threats. He’s alive and well tonight thanks to a vascular surgeon who provided him the emergency treatment he desperately needed.

65-year-old Dave Chapple has no problem selling cars to customers. But a major health scare a few months earlier nearly sidelined him for good. It started when he experienced severe abdominal pain.

“Probably one o’clock in the morning on Easter Sunday, I’m like ‘I can’t take this anymore.’ So I decided to go to the emergency room at Geisinger,” said Dave Chapple.

Chapple was swabbed for COVID-19 and also got a chest x-ray and CT scan. An emergency room nurse delivered a startling diagnosis.

“She said, ‘Well, you tested positive for COVID, you’ve got a slight case of pneumonia and we’re prepping you for emergency surgery because you’ve got an abdominal aneurysm that really was on the verge of bursting’,” said Chapple.

“Whenever the emergency room calls us with a large aneurysm or a ruptured aneurysm that’s something, you know, that we have to deal with right away,” said Boyoung Song, MD, a vascular surgeon at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

Dr. Song performed the emergency surgery on Chapple to prevent the growing risk of massive internal bleeding for a patient who also had COVID and pneumonia.

“That obviously increases his risk, surgical risks on top of his overall risk of mortality and high morbidity,” said Dr. Song.

Rather than cutting through Chapple’s abdomen during surgery, Dr. Song chose another way.

“With advanced technology, we’re able to do aneurysm surgeries minimally invasive from the groin either through little incisions or slits in the skin,” said Dr. Song.

Two days after his surgery, Chapple went home to recover from the triple whammy of emergency surgery, COVID-19 and pneumonia.

“If you feel ill, go to the hospital. If you feel something coming on, don’t ignore it,” he said.

Chapple says he feels great and is staying busy selling cars at Barber Ford in Exeter and staying active in his spare time.

Click Here to learn more about treatment options available when a health crisis emerges.

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