Name: Cindy Collins
Age at time of Dissection: 57
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 25 December 2007
Tell Us Your Story:

On Christmas Day 2007 we were eating dinner and I started to feel strange. I didn’t know if I was having gastro problems or something else and went and sat on the toilet for a while. Nope. Went out to the living room….just bent over in pain….relatives called 911 and I was taken to ER. They ran EKGs…nothing wrong. Said probably just holiday stress and wanted to send me home. Then said maybe we’ll just keep you here overnight for observation. As they were taking me to a room someone decided maybe I needed a CT…next thing I knew I was being whisked into surgery. Type A dissection.

Fast forward to 2014. I was getting these blisters on my surgery incision that would open and drain. Dermatologist removed twice and then sent me to plastic surgeon. He removed a sternal wire and said if infection came back to see a thoracic surgeon

One year later….blisters return. I see a surgeon and he says I think we need to remove your sternal wires because they are probably causing all this infection. Well, I undergo surgery and when I come out he says….you have no sternum…it has been eaten away and I can see right through to your heart and your original repair. They take me by ambulance to Orlando.

Dr. come in at the end of the day (because they have me listed as “stable”) and says he will be operating on me the next day. I say…do you want to look at it…he says..OK…..Bad move. As he is removing the packing I start crying out in pain, his PA is squeezing my hand and then all of a sudden says…OMG is that ??? Dr. Martin says YES!!! and then there is the most excruciating pain ever imaginable in my chest. A pseudo aneurysm has just burst and he has his finger in it as we are flying down the corridor to surgery.

He replaces the old infected graph and repairs the new aneurysm. But my sternum has been destroyed by infection. So a week later I go back under the knife for a titanium sternum Then 6 weeks in rehab with a pic line.

Skip forward one year to May 2017. I go to see my cardiologist with no definitive symptoms …just a feeling. He says lets do a chest x-ray. What did your surgeon recommend? So I call the surgeon and he says lets do a CT.

Got the results back today and I will see him next Thurs. Unbelievable ….I have another pseudo aneurysm. I am totally freaking out. Can one person really have to go through this again?