Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection


August 16, 2017

I’ve been a long distance runner for 30 years and a cross country/track coach for 24 years. I estimate that I have run 80,000 miles in my lifetime. I’ve never had a poor checkup and considered myself (until now) as extremely healthy man. I teach and coach in the Kinesiology, Health, Nutrition, and Athletics department at our local college.

On July 20th, 2017, I was running with my cross country team on an easy effort distance run. We were only about 1.5 miles in and still warming up when I began to feel very icky… discomfort in my chest and shoulders and sudden fatigue. I stopped immediately knowing that something was wrong. My students/athletes asked me if I was alright, and I waved them on and told them to enjoy their run. It was only a 1.5 mile walk back to the college, but the walk now was a struggle.

A heart attack didn’t make my top 100, but a trip to the urgent care confirmed it and all the tests later diagnosed a SCAD. Crazy. I am hopeful that I will make a full recovery, but I also feel unsettled, anxious, and scared.