Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Life changing even after pregnancy.

October 31, 2015

I’m 29 years old, and was in perfect health. I was pregnant with my 2nd child, and he was born on 08/22/15 in perfect health. In the few days after I had him, I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired all the time. I didn’t have that issue with my first child. When my son was 4 days old, I woke up to a strange sensation in my chest. It was a burning feeling, dead center on the breast plate. My arms were tingly and slightly numb, I was seeing double and vomiting.

I called 911 and they did an ekg on the way to the hospital. When I arrived at the emergency room, they notified me I was having a heart attack and that care flight was on its way to take me to the big hospital. Once I got to there, they rushed me to the cathlab, and all I could think about were my 2 children (my 4 year old daughter, and 4 day old son) I was scarred and confused.  They went in an artery in my groin and I could see my heart on the monitors. They told my my artery had ‘shredded’ and was torn away from my heart. They said this was rare and they had never see anything like it.

My cardiologist decided to see if it could heal on its own. 2 days in, laying in the hospital bed i remember I couldn’t breathe well, next thing I know, what seemed like 100 people were standing around me yelling my name asking me to talk to them. I had had a seizure and my heart stopped. They had to shock my heart back into rhythm and rushed me back to the cathlab where they tried to put 3-4 stints in. Unfortunately they wouldn’t hold, and had to do an emergency bypass open heart surgery. They took an artery out of my left leg, starting from my knee, all the way down to my ankle.

I stayed in the hospital for a few more days. I was sent home on 09/04/15 and have slowly been recovering since. It’s been almost 2 months, and I still hurt in my chest from the surgery. I’m just thankful to be alive and be able to have the chance to continue watching my daughter grow, and to see my sons milestones! The hardest part of it all, is that I haven’t been able to be a mother to either of my children. I can’t pick up my son when he cries, or even carry the diaper bag. I know it will get better, it just brings me down.

Thanks for reading my story! I hope this gives someone hope, knowing things will get better! Much love, Heather