Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Third time lucky

May 10, 2013

In 1999, 11 years before my heart attacks from SCAD, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. That is when the immune system goes into overdrive and begins to attack your own body. In my case it was my liver. Luckily I was diagnosed early and medication meant we could manage the damage and prevent further cirrhosis. In 2010, just after moving house and still surrounded by boxes, a routine ultrasound scan identified an abnormality in my liver. Two days later I had a CT scan and three days after that it was confirmed as a tumour in an inoperable place.

Based on my history, I was referred for an assessment for a liver transplant. A further scan showed the tumour was growing and I was placed on the UK transplant list, which was 18 months for people with an O blood group like me. To increase my chances of getting a transplant in time, I was put on the non-heart beating list. In order to buy me some time I had two lots of chemo therapy treatment and finally after 8 unsuccessful calls, I got my new liver Oct 2010. The operation went fabulously well and two weeks later I was back home and on the mend.

But six weeks later I had a heart attack and admitted to hospital. They did an angiogramme and saw what they thought was a slight narrowing of the LAD. I was given aspirin and sent home. Two days later in the middle of the night I had another heart attack. This time, they discovered my LAD completely blocked and inserted a stent to repair the SCAD. Three life threatening events in 6 months you may think is unlucky, but I think I’m blessed because I am still here to tell my story thanks to all my doctors, health professionals and my family!