Published: Nov. 2, 2011
Updated: Nov. 2, 2011
Melissa Thomason was 35 weeks pregnant with her first child when she suffered an acute Type A aortic dissection.
She was already hospitalized with high blood pressure when she experienced tremendous pain in her teeth and jaw.
Doctors delivered healthy baby Nathanael by emergency caesarean section right away, but a CT scan revealed an extensive dissection from her ascending aorta down to the aortic bifurcation.
Airlifted to a regional trauma center, Thomason had her ascending aorta repaired. six months later she was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, a rare connective tissue disorder. Follow-up imaging showed that her residually dissected thoracoabdominal aorta was rapidly enlarging, as was her native aortic root.
Thomason engaged the services of duke cardiothoracic surgeon Chad Hughes, MD, who replaced her entire aorta in three procedures. Today, Thomason is doing well -- and treasures every moment with three-year-old Nate.