Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

41 yr old Survivor

September 2, 2015

I woke up early on July 20, 2015 and felt great. I was talking to my children when I felt an odd electrical sensation move from my chest thru both arms. I immediately knew something wasn’t right. I walked into the living room to tell my husband and that’s when the pain started in the middle of my chest, left of the sternum with pain radiating down my left arm. He took my blood pressure which was 185/119, gave me 2 aspirin and raced me to the ER (which was quicker than waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance). First hospital ran an EKG that did not show a heart attack although the pain had increased into my back and jaw. The ER nurse caught it on a 2nd EKG and the doctor literally ran back in stating I would have to be rushed to another hospital 20 miles away because they could not help me. In the ambulance, I was given 3 nitroglycerin pills which did nothing to lower my blood pressure.

They rushed me straight into the heart catheter lab for surgery. The cardiologist looked at my paperwork and said I don’t think she’s had a heart attack but was “going in to see what was wrong”. Once inside of my heart, the cardiologist said “oh my you are lucky to even be here”. I had 2 dissections in the LAD that had formed a hematoma that blocked my artery 100%. After 5 hrs in surgery, he was able to insert 3 stents. Luckily this cardiologist had seen a couple of other SCAD patients. He asked if he could send my case to Cleveland for other doctors to look over.

I am one month out of surgery. Still having some chest pains and I get tired easily. The most frustrating part was the hospital never sent me home with any instructions. I’ve had to find everything myself online. I am very grateful for this website! I had no warning prior to my SCAD…no chest pains, nothing. But I did have untreated high blood pressure and was experiencing menopause symptoms from a hysterectomy 2 yrs prior. I am certain this played a part in my heart attack.