Name: Peter Passink
Age at time of Dissection: 51
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 12 April 2017
Tell Us Your Story:

Iam a 51 year old male. I have had excellent health my entire life. I have had no family history of any cardiovascular disease. My cholesterol and blood pressure have always been lower than average.

I took a ride on my motorcycle on a sunny afternoon, enjoying some spring weather after a long Colorado winter. This turned out to be a life saving decision, as I rode 40 minutes to Colorado Springs from the small rural town in which I live.

I arrived at a motorcycle shop, got off the motorcycle, and immediately began having significant symptoms. I felt a pounding in my upper back, trouble getting my breath, and some pain along my jawline. I kept thinking it would stop and could not figure out what was going on.

The only thing I could think of was “is this a heart attack?” I called my wife and we decided to call 911. I went into the shop to wait, and began to quickly deteriorate. I have only very slight memories of the time before the ambulance arrived and remember nothing after getting on the ambulance until waking up 5 days later in the ICU.

I was told upon waking how lucky I was to have been as close to a hospital as I was, and had I been home when the event occurred I would most likely have died. I had the dissection in the ascending arch of the aorta. I received no explanation for the cause of dissection.

Due to high possibilities of organ damage or G.I. tract damage, I was also “opened up” in the abdomen to be examined. I was 15 days in the hospital, and did 2 months of medically supervised cardio-rehab. It is now September 2017 and I feel back to normal.

I have some lingering fears of what caused this to happen and what, if any ramifications will result from this.