Meet Kelly

Crittenton cardiovascular team saves runner with rare heart condition

It took only a few minutes on a sunny January afternoon for Kelly Remick’s life to take a jog that nearly ended it. Kelly was jogging near her Rochester Hills home when she grew weak, started to feel pain and struggled to breathe.

“I felt weak, all of a sudden,” Kelly said. “I started to walk. Then I knew I had to sit down. Before I knew it I was seeing black spots – I felt like I was going to pass out. I tried to will it all away,” she said.

“I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I remember it got really quiet. I was sitting on the curb. All of a sudden I saw a man walking. I waved him over. He asked me what was wrong, and that’s when I asked him to call an ambulance. “

She was rushed to Crittenton, where a team of doctors performed a series of life-saving tests and procedures. They discovered Kelly had suffered an aortic dissection, a rare and often fatal tear in the inner wall of her aorta.

“It took me a couple days to really get my head around it,” said Kelly “And then when I realized what had happened, and what had almost happened… “

Her arrival in Crittenton’s emergency room set in motion a series of tests and procedures that involved at least 25 doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel. Doctors soon began a surgical procedure to remove the fluid, which was putting pressure on her heart. But during that surgery, they discovered something more: an aortic dissection. Kelly’s heart was literally bleeding from a tear in the inner wall of her aorta.

After 13 days, Kelly was released from the hospital. “I’m so grateful,” she said. “There’s a reason for everything. I firmly believe that. More than anything, the community support has been overwhelming. Crittenton was wonderful; the staff there was amazing. Everyone has been so sweet and generous, and that almost dominates any other feelings I have right now.”

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