Name: Erica Williams
Age at time of Dissection: 37
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 8 November 2015
Tell Us Your Story:

Sunday November 8th I did not feel well and decided to stay home from the grocery store with my 2 year old . My fiance went to the store. While he was gone I called him and said”my blood pressure was 179/129 and I thought I needed to go to the emergency room.

He was checking out then. I had laid my baby down for a nap. I called my parents to come sit with her and got ready to go to the ER. I had told my mother the day before that I couldn’t get a deep breath and my neck glands were swollen. I had been sick and on antibiotics so I assumed it was related. My life will be forever changed . At about 3:30 pm on Nov 8th we headed to the ER.

About a mile up the road I told my fiancé to hurry that it”the pain” was getting worse. I grabbed my neck. He told me to calm down and take 3 deep breaths. He needed to go right to get on the interstate but as I took the third breath. I had a stroke, my hands curled and I fell in his lap. He had dialed 911.They had an ambulance not far from us. So he turned left and met them in a parking lot. I was in shock having convulsions. I stopped breathing for about a minute but they got an oxygen mask on me and were able to stabilize me.

Twenty min and then we headed to the hospital where I had a CT scan a MRI then the 2nd CT scan showed I had a dissected asending aorta. The surgeon made no promises to my family about me making it through surgery. Seven hours later and 4 days I finally was stable enough for them to take me off enough sedatives to allow me to get my chest tubes and breathing tube out.I only have brief memories of this time.

Visions of faces of my loved ones and children. We have a total of 6 children. None of which were home besides the 2 year old when this occurred. I had a stroke in my right side . I had minimal use of my right leg and no use of my right hand and arm. Miraculously I regained it all within about a month. I worked with therapists in the hospital which I was there for 12 days.

Seven of those in CCU . I had to learn to swallow and chew again. It has been a very long almost 2 months. But I am determined to get better and learn everything I can about this disease. I believe I have a mutation of Marfans and I had a family history all male on my fathers side of dissections and aneurysm.

Hopefully I will know more soon. I had troubles off and on with my blood pressure since I was 25 but had been off medication for several years. I did not have blood pressure issues during my pregnancy and thought I was OK since I had her. I apparently was wrong. It has been a struggle to get it regulated and my heart rate still runs about 85 but with time I hope and pray it gets better.