At age 35, Morgan Drutchas never imagined she could be at high risk for heart attack. She hiked, traveled and worked out regularly. She had no family history of heart issues, and routine exams showed perfect cholesterol and blood pressure.
No one—least of all Morgan—ever expected that she would have two heart attacks in four days. The second was so severe that she spent three weeks in a cardiac intensive care unit (ICU).
When she woke up in the ICU, Morgan learned that a condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) caused her heart attacks. SCAD occurs when blood vessels in a patient’s heart tear. The tears can slow or block blood flow, causing a heart attack or heart failure.
As part of her extensive treatment, Morgan received a Boston Scientific SYNERGYTM Bioabsorbable Polymer drug-eluting stent, which is designed to hold the artery open while slowing releasing medication to help prevent the growth of scar tissue and ensuring blood flow through the artery.
Patients with SCAD don’t often experience any symptoms or warning signs and typically don’t have other heart disease risk factors – making it critical to seek an evaluation from a medical professional if any unusual symptoms arise. Though it is not clear what causes SCAD, the condition most commonly affects women under 50.
Today, Morgan is navigating her new reality as a lifelong heart failure and cardiac patient. In addition to spending quality time with her family and friends, Morgan has found a new way to channel her energy and optimism: educating others about SCAD and the toll of heart failure.
“You have to find joy where you can,” she says. “Heart failure can take away a lot of your functionality and adds a great deal of stress, and trauma makes it hard to move on emotionally, but you have to find a way to regain happiness and move forward.”
In talking with other SCAD survivors, Morgan constantly hears the stories of women who delay treatment, never thinking that they can be healthy, young, and still have a heart attack. “Luckily, I was able to get to the nearest hospital for evaluation, but if I can take my experience and help more women understand the symptoms of heart attack and urge them to take action immediately, then my challenges will be worth it.”
For safety information about the SYNERGYTM Bioabsorbable Polymer drug-eluting stent, please visit here.