Renee Cooper-36

Name: Renee Cooper
Age at time of Dissection: 36
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 18 January 2012
Tell Us Your Story:

What I thought started out as a normal day ended with Dr.John Jay saving my life. I have lived with high blood pressure since my early twenties but I never took it serious because I thought I’m young I can control my stress without meds and I my body would usually warn me when my blood pressure was off the charts by having major headaches which usually landed me in ER. As I tried to climb the corporate ladder, I worked 14/15 hours days, little sleep and very bad eating habits. I thought to myself that once I make it I would take better care of me. I was wrong,…. Jan 18,2012 started out as normal day. I actually woke up went to work…..had breakfast which is something I never do. Toward the end of the day I felt weird and I mentioned to a co-worker I needed to go to the doctor later in the week for a possible sinus infection. I finished my day and drove home feeling very sweaty and weird inside.

I get home to realize my pup had pooped in his crate which upset me, I take the crate outside to clean it out and I bend over only to eerie nice a pain that felt as if something was ripping in my chest. That day my dad happen to be waiting at my apartment to visit. I came inside and told him I had the worse chest pain, I suddenly felt faint and he suggested we go back outside to get fresh air. As we walked down the steps I felt as if I wanted to faint. Theming was so intense I told him I was having a heart attack and fainted. He called 911 and the ambulance arrived. I was awake and apologized if this was heartburn due to the pizza I had for lunch. Once I arrived at the hospital I vomited several times and could not stand to have my upper Left side of my back touched. It took several attest to get a CT Scan but once they got it my father was told I need emergency surgery due to three tears to my aorta. I remember crying for a brief second and my Dad saying I would be just fine. My sister had passed away at 36 on April 16 2011 and I had been dealing with a difficult boss for the past year so my stress level was 200% times 1000!!!!! I remembering being air lifted to Methodist main hospital in Dallas. I heard my sister say she was with me and I instantly felt calm.

The next five days are a blur but Dr. John Jay was wonderful he gave my dad the facts and made no promises my chance of survival was 5% but he was going to do his best….I woke up 5 days later thinking I was in a car accident. My life has forever been changed. I spent 8 weeks in cardiac rehab and 12 days in the hospital. 3 month recovery, I have a paralyzed diaphragm as a result of my operation and chronic back pain but I’m alive, I never dreamed this could happen I only thought about stokes or brain aneurysms when I thought high blood pressure and foolishly thinking I’m young and invincible. I know take 6 pills daily for the rest of my life. Methodist responded quickly and air lifted me to their main campus where John Jay saved me. My main tears were repaired but I have two that will be monitored for life. My scar is a reminder of how I need to be healthy. I’m a survivor…… I get set and depressed at how easily I get tired but I’m a fighter.


Alicia Rasmussen-30


John Roerts-45

1 Comment

  1. You sound strong. Your life has changed. Watch depression. Do not hesitate to ask for meds for depression. Walk or what ever you can do. Get skinny. Take your meds. I had a DAD descending Arotic Disection 10 years ago this March. No surgery and the tear is from above my heart to bifurcation and has not gotten larger. In Dallas Methodist also. Good luck

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