Today is Survivor Series Saturday!
We are back with another story for our Survivor Series! On certain Saturdays during the month, we will share stories from survivors or caregivers within the Aortic community.
Today we bring you a story about surviving a Type A Dissection with Stephen Curry.
Stephen shares in his blog how he overcame a Type A Dissection 8 weeks before his wedding.
Thank you for choosing my story.
I was a young healthy Irish lad who never had any health problems, so when I got my sudden onset chest pain, I knew immediately something wasn't right. The pain never subsided and only stayed in the center of my chest. I also had difficulty breathing.
I called my wife and said something wasn't right, she in turn rang the out of hours doctor and there was no answer (maybe a blessing in disguise). She immediately rang for an ambulance which arrived within 10 minutes, but felt like a lifetime for me. With only 8 weeks to our wedding this was the last thing we needed.
The paramedics arrived and took my BP along with an ECG. Something wasn't adding up and they brought me to the ambulance. They continued their checks and I was given an aspirin as they thought I may be having a heart attack.
I arrived at the hospital with my wife via ambulance to which the nurses and doctors were puzzled as to what was going on with me. After a few hours I was sent for a CT scan as a specialist doctor was called in for a second opinion.
My wife and father where informed that I had a type A aortic dissection and it could be fatal if not treated immediately. They were told to say nothing to me as it could worsen my condition.
I was transported to the nearest hospital equipped to handle this, which was an hour and a half away. Still not knowing the seriousness of my condition, it was only after I arrived at Mater Hospital’s ICU in Dublin, that I was told I needed immediate surgery to save my life or I wouldn't survive 24hrs.
All I could think of was my two-year-old son. I said goodbye to my family and thought this was it. I said to my wife, “Don't let our son grow up not knowing me, tell him about me”. Then I was rushed off.
I spent 9hrs in surgery had a prosthetic graft placed in my thoracic aorta and now have a mechanical valve. I am on warfarin for life. It’s a small price to pay to still be here today to watch my two-year-old grow and to get married 6 weeks after I left the hospital.
I spent 12 days in hospital which I don’t think was bad considering the nature of what I had just been through. Its only when something like this happens you really understand how precious life is. You could be happy in a moment and life can be over in the next moment. Live life to the fullest and make every minute count.
I hit a bad point after my ordeal and found it hard to cope some days but with friends and family, you will get through it.