Name: Scott Terry
Age at time of Dissection: 42
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 20 January 2016
Tell Us Your Story:

It started off as a normal Wednesday morning. I had just arrived at work and was on my way back to my desk from getting a coffee when I felt an unusual pain in my chest, unlike anything I had ever felt before. I initially thought it could be indigestion which I tried to clear with water. After that didn’t work I told a colleague that I needed an ambulance.

Thankfully I worked five minutes away from the nearest hospital – Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, UK. In emergency I had the usual ECG and blood tests for a heart attack. While the blood tests ruled out a heart attack the ECG showed a slight abnormality. I also had significantly different blood pressure readings in both arms. I ended up staying in hospital for a couple of days while doctors determined what the problem was. During that time I was allowed to walk around, have showers etc.

On the Friday morning my dissection was discovered after a CT angiogram. After that I was on complete bed rest. I was transferred by ambulance to the Trent Cardiac Centre at City Hospital in Nottingham as they deal with the Type A dissections. To cut a long story short I had aortic root surgery on the following Wednesday, 1 week after my dissection. I now also have a St Jude mechanical aortic valve and will be on warfarin for the rest of my life, along with my other heart meds.

After being discharged from hospital one week after my operation, I was readmitted after a couple of days due to a severe infection in my arm where the cannula was inserted. Following that I was readmitted a further two times – once I collapsed while having blood taken for my INR (it turns out I had flu). This meant another week in hospital. The second time my INR was dangerously low, which was another week in hospital.
It is now almost one year on and life is pretty much back to normal – a new normal. My lovely wife, wonderful 10 year old twin boys and I have now relocated back to Australia, the Sunshine Coast, and I am in the middle of having my first annual check-up.

The amazing thing about my story is that we had moved to the UK (from Melbourne, Australia) 18 months earlier to spend time with my family. We were actually planning to relocate back to Australia on the day of my dissection but had changed our minds about two months earlier, deciding to extend our stay.