Name: Nancy Reed
Age at time of Dissection: 66
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 30 October 2013
Tell Us Your Story:

I had a 5 inch aortic dissection on October 30, 2013. I was waiting for lunch service at a restaurant with my husband, when with no warning I passed out. All I could manage was “I think I’m having a heart attack!” as I fell to the floor. My frantic husband called for help and a young man gave me CPR while waiting for the ambulance which arrived in close to 5 minutes! The oxygen enabled me to say “what am I doing here?” As I became conscious of my position of laying on the ground, then on a gurney in an ambulance.

At the hospital emergency, attendants repeatedly asked me what day it was; fearing stroke. Nurses and doctors were already preparing for surgery when I arrived though diagnosis was unclear until 2 CAT scans were performed. I had never heard of aortic dissection, so I did not understand what was happening until much later. The surgeon explained that she would be using a cow part or a pig part for repair. I requested cow. She predicted the surgery would last 6-12 hours and the chance of survival was 50/50. It lasted 7 hours and went well.

Everything had to be perfect. If I had been home alone, or anywhere unlike the restaurant setting with a trained first aid person, and an ambulance nearby; I would not have survived.

I am 6 weeks post op, and finally turned the corner last week and resumed driving and many activities.

Last week the young man who saved me on the spot was honored at a Red Cross luncheon.

I feel very humble, extremely vulnerable and weak. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.