Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Our mum passed away from SCAD

April 13, 2015

In June 2012, I received the worst phone call of my life. My auntie had called and asked me to come to the hospital right away, and that it was about my mum. She wouldn’t tell me what had happened over the phone and that made me fear the worst. My thoughts raced thinking about what could have happened and I thought that it must have been a terrible accident since my mum was a healthy 48 year old woman.

When I arrived at the hospital I learned that my mum had passed away. It was a complete shock. My mums partner was with her when it happened and described the situation to us. She came home from work that day and said she was having pain in her left arm but neither of them were alarmed. She thought she had hurt herself and was stretching it against the wall. She said she was feeling better and the pain had gone so she went to have a shower. Shortly afterwards she was sitting down and that’s when she started to have frothing at the mouth and had collapsed.

Her partner quickly called the ambulance but it was too late by the time they had arrived. We later learned the cause of her passing was SCAD. None of us had ever heard of it and there was very little information about it online. The doctors had said its one of those things that just happens and you can’t do much about it. My mum was going through menopause at the time and wasn’t feeling well in the weeks leading to her death. I think we all attributed her tiredness to her menopause, as she had. We miss her dearly and would still like to know more information about SCAD and whether there was anything we could have done? Why do some people survive and others not? Is it something you can catch early?