Name: Gayle Cook
Age at time of Dissection: 56
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 9 February 2015
Tell Us Your Story:

My name is Gayle Cook and I LIVE in Albert Lea MN. On 2/9/2015, as I was getting ready for work, I began having severe chest pain. I work at the local hospital in ER Registration so finished getting ready for work and drove myself there, however, instead of clocking in for work, I was admitted to the ER. Six hours later after a CT scan revealed I had an aortic dissection, I was flown to Rochester MN.

I think I was aware of the severity of my situation, however, I was consumed with thoughts of my granddaughter, Kinley, who was flying to Chicago to have a REX shunt placed to bypass the obstruction (clot) in her portal vein. Her half brother, Carter, passed away from the same condition nine years ago when he was two. He underwent a liver transplant and, unfortunately, his heart failed two days after surgery. I am happy to say that Kinley survived her surgery and is doing quite well.

Unfortunately, as a result of the portal hypertension, she developed pulmonary hypertension that we are treating with meds. As for me, I was kept in the SCU over night in preparation for open heart surgery in the morning. Upon surgery, it was noted that I had an intramural hematoma which progressed to a type A dissection into the root with dissection into the left main coronary artery.

Well, you know the outcome of my surgery; I survived, but am still trying to wrap my head around what happened to me and the way I am now and it’s been ten months?! I have so much to say and ask but want to keep this short. Just wanted to introduce myself and reach out to someone who can relate to what I’ve been through. Thank YOU!