Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

My Husband’s SCAD

October 18, 2012

I know that most SCAD attacks are in women, but on Sunday, January 22, 2012, my 57 yr old husband had a heart attack from SCAD in THREE arteries. Does anyone else know of any men with this condition?? So far, in all of my googling, I haven’t found one yet.

That Sunday morning, my husband began having what he thought was reflux pain, but after several minutes, we realized it was much more serious than that. After about 20 minutes, his face had lost all color and he was in serious pain, but didn’t want to go to the hospital because he didn’t want to be a wimp. I didn’t take “no” for an answer. He agreed for me to drive him to the ER, but we pass an EMS station close to our house heading to the hospital & we stopped in there. They immediately began treating it as a heart attack, giving him nitro & an aspirin (which probably saved his life), but didn’t give Heparin, etc. because both of the EKG’s the medics did were completely normal.

We got to the ER & they did another EKG, along with heart & pancreas enzyme tests. All tests came back totally normal, but by this time, his pain was almost unbearable. The ER doctor ordered another EKG, which showed that the heart attack was underway, caused by blockage in the LAD.

Within minutes, he was in the cath lab, where he was diagnosed with SCAD in the LAD, RCA & one other artery (can’t remember what they said). They were able to put 3 stents in the RCA, but the other two were too badly damaged to stent or to do bypass surgery. He stayed on a nitro drip, along with heparin and a cocktail of several other drugs to keep his blood pressure down and arteries open. They also inserted a balloon pump to assist the heart in pumping the blood, so it didn’t have to do all the work.

He spent 6 days in the hospital, 5 in CCU. We are now on day 11 of this journey & so far, so good. I am just SOOO thankful that he is around to tell about his miraculous story! Life has a “new normal”. At this point, we were told that he could NEVER lift more than about 25-30 lbs or do any overly strenuous activity. That is difficult for a “type a” personality to adapt to! Another reason I think it would be beneficial for him to find other men who have had this diagnosis.

Thank you for this website & helping research this disease!