Ann Fitzpatrick is a SCAD survivor because she advocated for herself. Ann had been working out 5 days a week for more than 30 years when one day she got off the stair climber and was very short of breath. This shortness of breath was persistent, even after multiple tests and misdiagnoses. Ten days after the initial ER visit, still short of breath, Ann was certain something was profoundly wrong, and insisted on obtaining a definitive diagnosis.
This advocacy helped save Ann’s life. A cardiac catheterization the following day revealed Ann had an 85-90% blockage of her left coronary artery, and a stent was placed to open the artery and prevent a heart attack. At the age of 52, Ann was a SCAD survivor. Prior to the SCAD event, Ann had no risk factors for heart disease.
With a background in hospital administration, and experience in the world of medical centers, Ann now had experience as a heart patient. She attended the WomenHeart Science and Leadership Symposium at the Mayo Clinic in 2014 and became a WomenHeart Champion. As a WomenHeart Champion, Ann educates the public about heart health, advocates for women’s heart health care and research, and supports other women with heart disease. As a member of the Board of SCAD Alliance, Ann hopes to help educate patients, the public, and practitioners about SCAD, as well as support SCAD research.
Ann and her husband, Kevin are proud parents of three young adult children.