Name: Dawn Walker
Age at time of Dissection: 47
Type of Dissection: Descending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 31 August 2016
Tell Us Your Story: My name is Dawn and I live in a village in Lincolnshire, U.K.

On 31 August 2015 I awoke early in the morning to a severe stomach pain. After a few minutes it eased but after going to the bathroom and getting back in to bed I was hit by pain which I have never felt before.
The way I describe it is like being an acid explosion throughout my whole torso.
My husband checked my blood pressure and as we had 2 readings of 190 He decided to take me to hospital. I was feeling nauseous, clammy, extremely irritable and I did vomit on about 4 occasions.

A CT scan showed an aortic dissection, descending the length of my aorta with a small aneurysm towards the bottom.
My brother had died suddenly from AAA just 7 weeks before and if I had told hospital staff it is not likely I would have had a CT scan.
After my brother died I suspected I had a rare connective tissue fault called Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. This has proven to be the case, I got the official diagnosis in December last year.

I was initially placed on BP lowering meds for my dissection and went on to have an operation on 1st October 2015 to replace almost all of my aorta.
Complications afterwards led me to bleed heavily, believed to related to VEDS, and I was left with t8 paraplegia. This spinal cord injury is complicate.

I know I am lucky to be alive but everyday I am still in pain from my surgery and from being a paraplegic.
Life is extremely hard but I am trying to do what I can to raise awareness of this rare condition and I am also trying to write a book which includes many poems, telling of my experiences.

Thankyou for reading this. I wish you all well.