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My Patient Journey

Catriona Campbell

My name is Catriona Campbell and a few months after I turned 30 years old, I went to the GP because I had a lump in my belly.
Patient Name

Catriona Campbell

Lead Surgeon

Sabine Wipper

Condition

Acute Type A Dissection

Treatment

Endovascular Repair, Frozen Elephant Trunk

Product(s)

RelayPro, Thoracoflo, Thoraflex Hybrid

Associate Involvement

Donna Abbott, Grant MacDougall

Catriona Campbell

My name is Catriona Campbell and a few months after I turned 30 years old, I went to the GP because I had a lump in my belly.

My name is Catriona Campbell. A few months after I turned 30 years old, I went to the GP because I had a lump in my belly. To their surprise, basically most of my aorta was a big aneurysm and I was sent to hospital. They actually sent me home where I went to my parents for a bit of just R&R, trying to get used to this kind of new diagnosis.

We did know in our family that there was a history of aneurysms. But because I was only 30, I just hadn't anticipated having to look out for any kind of symptoms yet because most family members had first symptoms at 40. So I kind of thought I still have the next ten years to kind of become prepared for anything that might come. So at home with my parents and that night, actually, I started having really severe back pain. Thankfully, because I had the diagnosis of an aneurysm, I actually went right to hospital and was then looked after incredibly well.

So they conferred with other surgeons and decided to give me the full Terumo package. So I have four, all the way from here, all the way down to my groin, I am all Terumo.

It was obviously a complicated case. And so they conferred with other surgeons and decided to give me the full Terumo package. So I have four, all the way from here, all the way down to my groin, I am all Terumo. The first operation was obviously quite large. It was an elephant trunk. And they also had to make all the preparations that had come about due to the dissection.

That was quite probably the scariest operation of all, just because it was all quite sudden and it was still COVID time. So a lot of my family couldn't come in and like I had this big dramatic kind of potential goodbye on Zoom with my family and my boyfriend. So that was quite difficult.

Obviously I came out of that and all worked out really well. I think everyone was happy because I was fairly young. Everything seemed to be healing well. In January I was able to get the second part, which was basically in preparation for the final Terumo Aortic bit, which is the Thoracoflo, which is what I got in March 2021, 2022

That was quite probably the scariest operation of all, just because it was all quite sudden and it was still COVID time. So a lot of my family couldn't come in and like I had this big dramatic kind of potential goodbye on Zoom with my family and my boyfriend. So that was quite difficult.

In preparation for that, I went up to Hamburg and my surgeon kind of showed me a prototype of what it could look like. It was incredible to just hold onto what seemed to be hand-sewn things or not didn't seem to be. It was hand-sewn things that would be placed inside me that was kind of solve the problem.

I think what was so special for me was that at 30 years of age most solutions that would have been offered or as alternatives, would maybe have lasted 10 or 15 years. And this was the one solution that seemed viable, that would hopefully last me to the end of my life. And I wouldn't have to keep coming to hospitals in order to repair my aorta in my lifetime, so that was actually very comforting. And yeah, and then I came back for surgery and I think I was in hospital for two weeks. I was only in ICU for two nights.

I take great pride in telling people I am hand made and hand sewn in Glasgow

Actually six weeks later I came to Glasgow on like a girls weekend, just because I was feeling fit enough. And as I feel now as well, a year and a half later, just feels like my normal life that I had before. I can keep going with that and that is a gift and I'm incredibly grateful for it.

I think if I'd gotten ill two years earlier, I might not be here at all or in a very different shape. So this is what makes what happens here incredibly special, it is literally life saving. And I don't just mean like life saving in the sense I'm still living and breathing, but in the sense that I have my life, I feel like I have the life of a 30 year old or a 32 year old now.

And that's what makes it so special to me.

Disclaimer

The content, discussion and opinions expressed on this page are those of the patient and may not be reflective of the approved indications for use of the device, which may also differ by region. Please consult eifu.terumoaortic.com for product indications, contraindications and warnings/precautions.

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