Cathy Tarr-47

Name: Cathy Tarr
Age at time of Dissection: 47
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 29 August 2015
Tell Us Your Story:

I am a 47 year old woman who has had known hypertension for the past 3-4 years. This has been controlled with medication ( or so I thought ) and otherwise was fit and well. on 18/29/2015 I went shopping, just a normal day. Approximately 3 hours later i felt “unwell” and needed to sit down becoming hot and clammy. As i sat the pain started in my chest, central, severe, and a thunderbolt of burning that radiated to my back. I knew this was not normal.

As I waited for emergency transfer to the hospital my legs were tingling and i was losing power in my limbs. Within 20 minutes i was paralyzed from the waist down.

I was rushed to hospital. Luckily i had a CT Scan fairly early as a heart attack was eliminated by a very good dr. I was transferred to another specialist hospital for emergency surgery.

Luckily the surgeon decided that surgery was too risky as my BP was far too high but i spent 9 days on Cardiac Intensive Care, 7 days on Coronary Care and a further 8 weeks on a cardiac ward. My aorta had dissected and bled into my spinal cord causing permanent damage.

i am now 14 weeks post descending dissection controlled by a whole array of anti-hypertensive medications and pain relief. I have learnt to walk again but have a left sided weakness. I am terrified this may happen again to me and its taken over my life.

I want to get back to my old independent life but at the moment need mobility aids and lots of practical support.
Thank you for reading my story.


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  1. Brian Tinsley

    I am very happy that you made it through. I know it’s tough -very tough. The Blood Pressure take their toll on you as well, The change in your diet and taking the medications along with exercise moderate walking at a minimum will be the best thing for you and… most importantly, remember you have so much to be thankful for 🙂 Brian 🙂

  2. Rose Fekech

    I am sorry you went through this and happy that you are healing. My husband had a type b dissection in July and is also healing. I just wanted to say hello and let you know you are not alone. I wish you happiness and healing and joy despite circumstance.

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