Attorney Recounts Brush with Death and Recovery

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A well-known Western Pennsylvania attorney said he has a whole new perspective on life after two brushes with death last year.

You may recognize Dallas Hartman from his television commercials, or you’ve turned to his law offices for help. But over that last year, the attorney went from fighting for his clients to fighting for his life.

June 5, 2012 is when his medical journey started. It was during a trip to Pittsburgh that Hartman felt some chest pain. His doctor told him to get to a hospital, so he drove back to Jameson to be close to family.

“Here it wasn’t a heart attack, it was what they call a complex aortic dissection,” said Hartman.

He was immediately flown in by medical helicopter back to UPMC Medical Center where he underwent major surgery. Afterwards, he appeared to be on the path to recovery but took a dangerous detour.

“I said ‘Hey Hon, let’s go for a walk,’ and I sat there and sneezed. I said with my chest being split open, I am doing pretty well and I guess I hit the dirt,” said Hartman.

Hartman was taken by helicopter back to UPMC. In a three-week span, he went through two major heart surgeries and suffered two strokes. At that point, he had to re-learn everything from brushing his teeth to walking up steps.

“I’ve done very well since then. It has been a tough year, but God’s been very good to me,” said Hartman. “I’ve had excellent health care and great support from my family and office and clients.”

Hartman, now 55 years old, said the ordeal has helped him realize what’s really important in his life. He says his family and giving back to the community are his top priorities.

“I had time to examine myself. Have I done enough? I’ve done a lot, and I think I can do a lot more and that’s my goal to do a lot more,” said Hartman.

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