St. David's HealthCare - June 20, 2023

At 29 years old, Tara Vickers was 36 weeks into what she assumed was a normal and healthy pregnancy until one evening, after putting her two children to bed, she felt a sudden burning sensation in her chest. She then began experiencing labored breathing and severe pain in her left arm. Tara's husband, Seth, made the decision to take Tara to the local ER in her rural community, where doctors informed her she was having a heart attack.

Mother holding baby sitting next to husband

Tara was immediately flown to St. David's North Austin Medical Center for a higher level of cardiac care. It was discovered she had a tear in her heart. Specifically, Tara had a spontaneous coronary artery dissection in the same location where physicians often see a cardiac event known as a “widowmaker” heart attack.

Fortunately, Tara arrived at St. David's North Austin Medical Center in time for doctors to provide life-saving treatment. She was kept in the ICU for five days, receiving around-the–clock care. Tara was then moved from the ICU to the antepartum unit, where she stayed for three weeks under the care of Dr. Luis Castellanos, OB/GYN at St. David's Women's Center of Texas. Dr. Castellanos oversaw Tara's care until she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl, Charlie.