Name: Will Jipson
Age at time of Dissection: 36
Type of Dissection: Ascending
Date of Aortic Dissection: 1 February 2017
Tell Us Your Story:

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]awoke at 2am, thanks to the screech of a cat fight in the hall outside my bedroom. All night, I’d been feeling a tight ache in my upper back and chest. At that moment, I felt what I must describe as a fist trying to press through my chest from the inside. Or like an Alien Chestburster, if you will.

I called 911, suspecting I was having a heart attack. I sat and waited near the door, controlling my breathing and trying to remain calm to keep my pulse down. Arriving EMTs suspected it was an aneurysm, and I was sent by helicopter to a hospital in Washington, D.C. for emergency repair.

It’s been 13 months since the repair. In that time, I’ve suffered intermittent blood clot issues (specifically Pulmonary embolisms) – likely the result of inactivity. I used to bicycle 20+ miles a day, and a year of convalescing put considerable weight on.

I was advised to seek therapy, but have neither the time nor money, really. The hardest part of this has been the severe depression and lack of support. I’m considered a young survivor with an even younger peer group; the experience and the severity of the trauma is difficult to explain.