Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

October 28, 1996

June 8, 2020

I just completed a physical and was given a clean bill of health. I walked every day and ate healthy food. I am a married mother of 3. I had lunch at home and went back to work at a dental office at the front office coordinator. Just back from lunch, I cracked a joke with the dentist and his assistant. They, then, went to work on a patient while my lips went numb. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. My fingers were tingling. I thought, if I could just lay back in one of the available dental chairs, I would be ok.

The dentist and his assistant saw my ashen color as I walked past them. They got to a stopping place ad came back to where I was, administered oxygen and called 911. I was so embarrassed and insisted I would be ok. I told them to just call my doctor. I didn’t feel I needed to go to the hospital.

The ambulance came and took me to the hospital where I coded in the ER. I had to be shocked 4 times before I came back. The cardiologist said I had a widowmaker’s heart attack. The main arterty’s lining collapsed and caused a heart attack. After reviewing my records, my current cardiologist said, clearly, I had a spontaneous dissection. I had an emergency double bypass. The stapled leg from top to bottom was harder to deal with than the cracked chest!

But, by the grace of God, I am alive and work full time as a respiratory therapist 24 years later!