Nadia's Heart Story



Photo of Nadia


I’m a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend, and I was diagnosed with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection  - or SCAD. 

My heart journey began in 2016. I was 37 years old and had just given birth to my 3rd child. One day, I felt a surge of anxiety and the need to flee, to be away from people, and I became violently ill and found myself laying on the floor of a public washroom.

Paramedics were called and I was rushed to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute where I had 2 heart catheterizations.

The doctors had to open up my right coronary artery to keep the blood flowing and to stop the heart attack. They did this by inserting 3 stents, which are like expandable coils made of metal mesh to treat the blocked coronary artery. 

After a few days, things got worse and I went into heart failure. The left side of my heart wanted to keep beating, but the right side just quivered. This caused incredible crushing pain and I couldn't stand up without collapsing. I spent several weeks at the Heart Institute in the critical care unit and the heart failure team successfully got my heart beating regularly again.

I was diagnosed with a rare type of myocardial infarction, a heart attack, caused by spontaneous coronary artery dissection - or SCAD...

...which in my case was likely attributed to elevated hormone levels over multiple pregnancies which affect the integrity of the interior of the artery walls making them fragile and subject to tearing.

It took two years to get back to my usual life and routine. I follow recommendations from my doctors in terms of healthy habits, lifestyle, medicine and exercise, and they are happy with my progress and recovery. 

Now, I feel great and am so thankful that I can enjoy life with my kids and family. 


Share Your Story

#HerHeartMatters to me because...