Rebecca experienced her first heart attack just before her 21st birthday. As a healthy, active college student, and without an apparent cause, no diagnosis was established and the event was essentially chalked up to bad luck. Eight years later, she had a second heart attack – that time resulting in cardiac arrest. Thanks to incredible friends who quickly performed CPR and a great emergency care team, she survived and began both a road to recovery and diagnostic odyssey. Almost two years later she finally met the doctors who could piece together her medical history, discovering SCAD as the cause of her two heart attacks, and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as her underlying genetic vascular anomaly. Today, she is doing well medically and able to be active with her two young children and husband.
In 2016, recognizing the need for increased awareness of heart disease in women like herself, Rebecca began volunteering with the American Heart Association. Specifically, she has focused on initiatives to increase CPR training, especially among high school students, and educating women about heart disease, even for those without traditional risk factors. Professionally, Rebecca is a Physician Assistant in Pediatrics. She graduated from The George Washington University with a Master of Science in Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Public Health. With SCAD Alliance, she looks forward to collaborating with patients, providers, and advocates to advance both the awareness and the science of SCAD.