Survivors' stories

These personal stories from SCAD survivors might help you understand what the treatment and recovery process can be like. But please remember that, as these stories demonstrate, no two people have exactly the same experiences...

Andrea's story

In January 2016 I had two heart attacks due to SCAD, just a few weeks from my 44th birthday, I am still shocked that it has happened to me.

I have always been very healthy and active with no risk factors and no family history of heart diseases.

Prior to heart attacks I was feeling very tired but I put it down to work, preparation for Christmas and holidays added to a deep sadness from losing my best friend of over 30 years in November.

Christine embraces life after SCAD

I'm now over five years post SCAD, just coming up to 55 and the happiest I have ever been in my life. So what's changed? 

1.     I got healthy through eating well and exercising moderately (gardening, yoga, walking, badminton).

2.     I chucked my stressful job and now write a 50 plus lifestyle blog over at https://flowerpowerlife.wordpress.com/

Jamys’ story

I had chest pains in the morning of 28th October 2013, a couple of days after quite a tough run. I then carried on as normal through the day with no other pain. That night I was woken up with worsening pains in my chest. I tried to adjust my position so that I could go back to sleep, but the pain increased until I was on the floor. My wife took me to A&E where the Troponin test showed I had had a heart attack.

Gill's story

I had my first SCAD event on 11-Apr-2013. I was 50 years old and had been back to full time work for two months after suffering from severe depression. So was feeling really good, had lost weight and was fitter than I had been for years.

I had been busy at work that morning and I was making a cup of tea at lunch time. While talking to a colleague I started to feel unwell. A real aching in my jaw and a bit lightheaded. I went to my desk and sat down. But I started to feel worse...pain radiating in my shoulders, nausea. So as I thought I was going to be sick I went to the toilet.

Katrine’s story

I had my first SCAD heart attack January 2014, I was in Denmark on vacation and preparing my luggage to return to Italy, when I felt a strange feeling in my chest (no pain) and that my left arm “fell asleep” it only took a few seconds, and then disappeared but something told me to react so we called 911 to ask what to do and they send an ambulance right away. In the hospital they took 2 blood test (12 hours one from the other) for enzymes but both turned out negative, also EKG was perfect, and I felt “normal”.

Gabrielle's story

The ambulance snaked through the traffic with the deception of apathy. I knew it was dodging cars at full pelt, but the 20-minute journey seemed to take forever. The paramedic busied himself with an in-journey ECG which could be sent wirelessly ahead to the ER department of the local district hospital. Both he and the driver were stumped and their confusion, and concern, was palpable.

Anna's story

I'm a 39 year old teacher living in Hertfordshire with my partner and our 5-year old son.

Last year (2014), about August time, I experienced SUDDEN CHEST PAINS following some fairly strenuous housework. I assumed they were INDIGESTION, but they were severe enough to make me nauseous and they lasted a few hours. My chest was sore for some days afterwards.

Jennifer's story

I am a 41 year old nursery nurse and I had my SCAD on 6th November 2013. It came completely out of the blue when I was at my work.  Apart from mild asthma years ago, I had no previous health problems. One minute I felt fine, the next minute I felt nauseous, warm and faint.

Louise's story

At the age of 37 I had 2 episodes of a heart-burn pain which travelled down my left arm and the second of these was while I prepared to go to an aerobics class. I felt a fluttering under my rib cage, and fear led me to phone 999.

Steve's story

16-Feb-2014: I was out on a 77 mile cycle ride. The 3rd hard ride in four days. Not what you should really do for a training program (too many hard sessions too close together). At 40 miles, I was 10 mins into a 30 min mountain climb when I experienced a numbing pain from the middle of my chest which spread to my upper arms making them feel floppy.

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