It was the afternoon of Thursday August 14th 2014, my children, all under 12, were playing as we were in the middle of the summer holidays. My mother in law was watching TV and I was doing housework.
Just after eating lunch, I continued with the housework and began feeling "not quite right", almost as though something was stuck in my throat. I remember having a piece of dry bread and water to help un-lodge that feeling. Not long after, I started to feel hot and cold sweats and began to heave as though I was going to be sick. I then sat on the front door step to try and make me feel better.
However I was still feeling unwell, so decided to take a sit down with a hot drink. At this point my left rib cage felt a little heavy so I ask my son to call NHS Direct. He then passed the phone to me and as they asked all the usual questions my arm started to feel numb. I then said: "I cannot answer any more questions, please can you send someone I don't feel well." In less than 1 minute rapid response were starting to take my ECG, and then an ambulance arrived very quickly. The paramedic explained what she was going to do, and as she began the ECG, the battery pack went flat. She restarted the machine, held my hands and said "We need to move fast you are having a HEART ATTACK. Of course I didn't believe her, I thought that her ECG machine was faulty. They gave me the GTN spray and an aspirin, and wheeled me into the ambulance.
I was very strong until I heard the sirens sounding. Then I broke down. I was taken to theatre and an emergency angiogram was preformed. I was in theatre for about 3-4 hours. I could see the screens, the wires, I could even feel the pulling around my heart. It all happened so fast. It was only when they wheeled me into the ward that I then caught a glance of the waiting room – it was full of all my family members – and I realised this was serious.
I was in ICU for a while. It almost felt like a dream. When I came home I had so many side effects from the many tablets I was given, I couldn't sleep, eat, lost weight – my whole life had been turned upside down. The consultant who saw me that evening had only ever come across one other case like mine in his 20-year career.
So I decided to Google SCAD specialist. After a great deal of searching I came across Dr Adlam and Dr Abi and their amazing team in Leicester. Straight away I called my GP who referred me. I can say that after seeing the team they took me off most of the medication I was on, I was given an appointment for the research day, they sent me for a CT scan, and for bloods, I started to feel a little normality again. They gave me hope and answers to so many questions that I had. Medically they have made me feel my normal again. They are always happy to answer email queries, they have been my life line without them I would not be where I am now.
Also through Facebook I joined the SCAD - UK and Ireland Survivors group, were I have met so many lovely friends. Myself and a friend are now trying to set up THE MIDLANDS SCAD SUPPORT GROUP, in the hope that this will form a place for SCAD surviours to meet on a regular basis for support, updates, raising awareness and raising money for the Leicester SCAD research team.
Thank you for reading MY SCAD STORY
Thank you Dr Adlam and Dr Abi
Thank you to all my family and friends for all their help and support , without whom I would not be where I am today.