Name: Monique Hoekman
Age at time of Dissection: 48
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 4 April 2014
Tell Us Your Story:

It was another Friday evening, I was at home with my hubby when i suddenly felt the need to go to the toilet. My husband asked: Hey, what are you doing? You cant even stand on your feet! I felt an incredible pain on the chest and from that moment my lights went out.

My husband grabbed me from the floor and called 112 (911) It took only 5 minutes before the ambulance arrived. They brought me to Isala Clinics in Zwolle and after some examinations I got diagnoses: Aorta-Dissection A. It would be very risky operation and my family said goodbye. For some reason I feel Lucky I cant remember a thing from that night.

It must have been a horrible night. In the morning my husband was called, the operation had been successful. During the operation they put me on the heart/lung machine and cooled my body to 18C During that time I experienced to be in a space with soft lights shining on both my parents ( they passed away couple of years ago) they were just standing there in front of me, we didn’t speak and it felt good. no emotion at all. How long t took I really don’t know, maybe 5 min, maybe an hour but suddenly my dad said: ” No, you cant come with us yet ” and they were gone.

Has anyone else the same experience? When I woke up I already left ER and I had to stay in hospital for 10 days. Slowly I realized what happened. There is a chance that I need another operation because of the damage the dissection caused the first time and it scares me. I will never be the same, but every morning when I wake up I more than grateful and I never take things for granted anymore, coz got a second chance and that’s more than I deserve.