Name: Barbara White
Age at time of Dissection: 67
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 1 March 2011
Tell Us Your Story:

Thought I was a very healthy 67 female. Hiked, rode bicycle, went to fitness center, watched weight and ate good.Had been going to a cardiologist because my blood pressure was high and he kept giving me medicine but nothing was bringing it down.

Had a pain in my left shoulder blade for about 3-4 weeks and thought I pulled a muscle at the fitness center. Drove to Florida by myself for a vacation and by the time I got to Florida I was in a lot of pain. Thought I was imagining that I had one chest pain and pain in my jaw so a couple of days after arriving in Florida, I drove myself to the ER. Never came out for about a month. The doctor said he wasn’t sure he could get it off.

I had a thoracic aneurysm and a double bypass with veins taken from my leg. After surgery, the doctor told my family to go buy a lottery ticket as they were lucky I was alive. Was in the hospital about 2 weeks and in a nursing home after for about a week until my sister came and got me out and took me to her home about 2 hours away. Nursing home was the pit and all horror stories I ever heard about nursing homes was true.

After a couple months of recuperating in Florida, I went home to Massachusetts. I went to both my primary and cardiologist doctors and asked them to see my EKG’s. They gave me my EKG’s going back to 2005 where they all said I had a “left bundle branch blockage” but I was never told about it because they said I didn’t have any symptoms.

It has now been 10 months and I am doing OK. The cold weather in Massachusetts really makes my heart beat fast and takes my breath away when I go out in it.

The open heart surgery and recovery was the worst thing I ever went through in my life. But I have to look at it as a miracle as I can’t imagine another human being being able to perform something like this.

Barbara White

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