Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

My Story-Age 39 Male SCAD Survivor

March 17, 2016

My name is David and I would never have thought I would have a heart attack. I’m only 39 years old and have been heavily involved in sport from a very young age.

Two weeks ago I was swim teaching a group of year 2 students for their upcoming swimming carnival in the deep end of our swimming pool. I was treading water for about 10 mins when I started to feel some discomfort in my chest like someone was sitting on it. I have had this sensation before so I continued hoping it would ease like it had a previously.
It didn’t and gradually got worst and then the discomfort started to radiate into my left arm and I found myself getting agitated. It was at this point I knew that I could be possibly having a heart attack as I had just recently completed my first aid refresher course. I ended up finishing the lesson whilst in some discomfort and told the supervisor that I thought that I was having a heart attack. An ambulance was rung and I was taken to the local hospital. It was here they confirmed through blood tests and I was transferred to the Coronary Care Unit at another hospital.

An angiogram, cardiac mri and echo drew the conclusion of SCAD which I have never heard of. My family history was not clean either as my father and both grandfathers had various heart issues throughout their lives. My dad is being treated for Cardiomyopathy and my grandfather on my mothers side died during open heart surgery. My mother’s sister has a pacemaker also.

This was a total shock to my family and friends as well as myself as they know how active and healthy I am. Now I am trying to determine my limitations on what exercise I can and can not do but also a little apprehensive about exercising again. I love surfing and running but that is on hold for the moment until I see that Cardiologist in 4 weeks time. It is very hard as both my wife and I were very active and prior to the heart attack I was helping her train for an upcoming half marathon.