Name: Kev Heywood
Age at time of Dissection: 50
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 17 April 2014
Tell Us Your Story:
With no symptoms I was sat watching tv with my son at 9.30 in the evening when I felt the most intense crushing pain in my chest. It very quickly spread into my upper back and then knew I was a spot of trouble. After 5 minutes I asked my son to call 999 and the ambulance arrived within five minutes. I remained fully coherent and was able to answer fully all questions by the paramedics and even the ecg gave no indication of my condition. I was taken to hospital after about 30 minutes and even walked to the ambulance!
I was given pain relief enough route to little effect, I think a spray under my tongue and aspirin? The paramedics were brilliant again when we arrived at the AnE (which I believe saved my life) and I was in a bed almost immediately bypassing a pretty long queue, and wired up blood tests taken and morphine orally. Things moved along eventually having a ct scan which finally diagnosed a descending aortic dissection. Pain relief and other drugs were then given to me, and things become a tad hazy at this point but remember being moved by blue light ambulance to QE hospital in Birmingham to a specialist unit and understand I then spent 2 days in intensive care unit and then 17 days in the coronary care unit.
My treatment was to control my blood pressure with medication rather than surgery, which I understand research shows to be the preferred option, although this took quite a while to get me off IV to oral meds.
I left hospital with a large bag of 12 different types of medication and here I am resting and trying to do as I’m told. I have bought a blood pressure monitor and recording readings to give to my gp on our regular appointments.
I realize I am so lucky to have got through this so far and appreciate I have a long way to go, however I’m scared of what the future will bring… I have so many questions on that but will try to stay strong.