Claire Jones, United Kingdom (UK)

Bank holiday Monday 27th August. Go to work as a chef in a children’s hospice, mid morning I’m chopping garlic, chatting to the maintenance man. I get this sudden ripping sensation in my throat, the worst pain ever! I staggered to the kitchen office and slump into the desk chair, scream out to Christine to get some help!

Luckily for me within minutes there are 3 nurses by my side, I’m sweating profusely, the pain is horrific. My left side starts to go numb, arm, hand and leg. My feet turn blue, heart murmur detected, blood pressure is low, ambulance is called, I’m pushed to the ambulance in the office chair as I’m unable to walk. Loaded into it and raced to A&E with a suspected stroke. Get to A&E where I start to feel better, wheeled into corridor as I’m not seen as urgent any more. I suffer severe diahorrea, my body empties itself!

I begin to feel ill again, my husband calls the nurse, I go back into cubicles and finally a dr decided to send me for a CT scan, during the scan I have 2 cardiac arrests. Diagnosis of a type A aortic dissection is given. Chance of survival is slim. Say goodbye to my husband and children as I’m not expected to get over this. It’s decided to send me to Liverpool heart and chest hospital where emergency surgery of an aortic repair/ replacement and mechanical valve is put in. 8 hours later,

I’m out of surgery, 3 days later, I’m awake and totally in shock and confused as to where I am. ICU for 2 days, the onto wards 7 days and then home to rest and recover, no previous history or symptoms of anything cardiac related. I’m currently doing well and hoping to return to work very soon

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