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Prashant's aortic dissection patient story

Prashant was 38, a young fit and healthy man, when he suffered a Type A Aortic Dissection while working out at the gym.

Prashant's aortic dissection patient story

Prashant was in very good shape and has been an active gym goer for over 20 years, following a healthy lifestyle which was particularly important to him after his father had suddenly died from what they thought was a heart attack at the age of 30.

Prashant recalls what happened, ‘Towards the end of my work-out, I laid chest down on a machine when I felt a pop deep in my chest. I stood up and felt dizzy and had strange feeling on my left leg. I was able to drive myself to the hospital, however by the time I got there I had lost most of the feeling in my left leg.

I explained my family history to the A&E staff and insisted something serious was happening and that I was either having a heart attack or a stroke. They took my blood pressure on one arm and did an ECG but said everything was fine and that my ECG was “textbook perfect”. Despite me emphasising the fact I had lost all feeling in my left leg and that I had a lot of tightness in my chest, the Doctor insisted that I had pulled a chest muscle and sprained my hamstring. I also explained that we were due to go on holiday the next morning and they assured me it was fine to go.

The next morning, I was still in pain and could only walk a few meters at a time, but we flew to Germany. During the four days we were in Germany I could only walk a few meters before having to stop or sit down. 

On our return to the UK, I walked my son to school which was only 10 minutes away but I could barely make it half way there before I was out of breath. I called my doctor and explained that it had been 7 days and I still was not any better. The doctor requested I get a D-dimer test and my results were very high.

Later, the doctor phoned to tell me to go to the hospital for more tests. The next few days I had more scans and tests for what they thought was a blood clot, but that was ruled out. However, they discovered I had fluid in my lungs, so continued to monitor me and requested more tests. On the afternoon of Wednesday June 5th (9 days after I first went to the hospital) the doctors performed an Echocardiogram which revealed that I had suffered a Type A Aortic Dissection. They could not believe I was still alive. In a split second I had gone from walking around the hospital room, to not even being allowed to stand up on my own. 

On Friday June 7th (12 days after my aortic dissection occurred) I had a 12-hour open heart surgery which consisted of an aortic root and arch replacement, a mechanical aortic valve, and a FET repair to descending aorta at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. The doctors discovered that I also suffered a rupture to the left Iliac artery (the artery supplying blood to the left leg) and a rupture to the right common carotid artery (the artery supplying blood to the right-side of the head). 

Everyone that goes through such trauma will know that most people will not be able to relate to what you have been through. I’ve learned the importance of taking each day at a time to enjoy life, and most importantly staying positive!'