Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Amsterdam Airport, thankfully!

January 26, 2016

I am a healthy 58 year old woman, with low blood pressure, low cholesterol, with no history of any significant health issues personally, nor are there any in my family. Most all relatives have lived into their late 80’s or 90’s. I am the sort of person who is sturdy, independent and strong and the last one anyone would ever imagine to have a health issue, no less a heart attack.

I was traveling to Florence via Amsterdam. After what I thought was a terrible flight due to bad food, cramped seats and no sleep, I got off the plane in Amsterdam feeling a bit crappy. Within a few minutes of walking in the terminal, I began to have a ’bout of indigestion’, except the pain was just above my breasts in the center of my chest. In thinking about this later, indigestion is usually just below that where the stomach lies. In any case, my initial reaction was to look for an antacid, yet the weighty pain increased dramatically and thankfully an airport attendant saw my distress and called a doctor and an ambulance. This was much to my dismay at the time. I recall saying, No! I don’t need an ambulance, I have to get on my plane in 30 minutes to Florence. I only need and antacid. Thanks to the quick response in the airport, I was soon in the hands of the capable emergency services who had administered an EKG right there on the spot and sent it on to the doctor on call. It was a holiday, early in the morning of Boxing Day 2015, and most were home with their families. By the time I reached the hospital, my chest was in severe pain and I kept asking them to “just take away the pain” over and over. My nitro applications later, at the Amsterdam VUmc, i was given a ballon angioplasty and my healing began. I believe that the services I was given was life saving and expert in all ways and I am forever grateful for the quick thinking of all involved.