Name: Cheryl Symonds
Age at time of Dissection: 71
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 16 February 2016
Tell Us Your Story:

Hello, my 71 year old mother, Claire, swam 3x a week, hiked, fished, walked, rode her bike, and suffered a major a.d. While on a volunteer shift at the medical center where she helped out several hours every week. She fainted, did not appear to have any warning signs that we’ve heard.

She never smoked, drank a little wine here and there, ate well, never any b.p. medication or concerns, had a healthy physical 1 month prior. I’m not sure yet the type of dissection, need to speak to my father more. She immediately was paralyzed on her left side, lost her kidney function, and lost consciousness about 1 hr after they airlifted her to a larger hospital from the med center.

She continued to breathe on her own, b.p. remained good until near the end. She passed 3 days later in the hospital, peacefully and without pain thanks to the I.v. Meds. It was a complete shock. Her father suffered a similar incident at the same age, however he was a heavy smoker and drinker, so I think my mother wasn’t concerned for herself as she was not.

They did find my grandfathers and repaired it and he lived another 10 years. I am wondering for myself and my 2 sisters, should this be a big concern now with our family history? What is the appropriate age, if any, to start requesting tests for ourselves so that we may end up with different results? Thank you.