In 2003, I survived a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), heart attack, and double bypass surgery after the birth of my second son. For the next several years, I scoured the Internet to find other survivors. My goal was to generate formal scientific research of this condition, also known as SCAD. Through the WomenHeart online support community, hosted by Inspire, I was able to compile the basic information of 86 women. I took this “data” to Mayo Clinic and was fortunate enough to connect with Dr. Sharonne Hayes. She adopted my cause as her own, and with the help of Dr. Marysia Tweet, two research studies are under way.

The first study will create a “virtual registry” of more than 200 SCAD patients. The second is a DNA biobank for up to 400 SCAD survivors, their relatives, and the families of those who died from SCAD.

As a rare and hardly researched condition, SCAD is now being explored in a manner that will yield information to guide accurate (and timely) diagnosis, treatment protocols, and possibly, screening. As with all research, the potential benefits to men and women cardiac patients are unlimited.

I am thrilled to continue this journey!
Katherine Leon

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