Monique Hoekman-48

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.


Abbas R-42


Jim Tindell-56


  1. Guerdon Smith

    Hopefully, you have had a successful recovery. We will never be the same anyway. Time is like a croissant. Most people think it is uniform like white bread with no crust. They are wrong. You get to enjoy the time and thank those you share it with, then later be with your folks.

  2. Mike

    Just wanted to let you know that in my case, the difference between having emergency surgery to repair a dissection and an operation that is planned for is about as different as night and day. I hope you have the same experience and will also look back and think “wow the planned operation was not even comparable to the emergency one’

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