Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Our Story

Our story began in early January on what was thought to be a typical day.  This day was anything but typical.  Judy Alico, a healthy wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital.  She died a few days later at age 51.  Through an autopsy, Judy’s devastated family learned she died from Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD), a cause of a heart attack they never knew existed.

When Bob, her husband, asked the cardiologist what caused the SCAD that so quickly took the life of his wife, the Doctor said he would probably never know the cause because little was understood about SCAD.   In the midst of his grief, Bob decided something needed to be done to find answers to such basic questions as what causes SCAD and what are the best treatment options.

Bob discovered a SCAD research project had recently begun at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). Contacting Dr. Sharonne Hayes, who directs the SCAD research team at Mayo, he learned Mayo’s SCAD research project started when a group of SCAD survivors approached Dr. Hayes. Dr. Hayes indicated that finding enough funding for research was critical.

Bob went to work organizing a nonprofit organization to raise money for the most promising SCAD research.  Effective July 6, 2011, SCAD Research was established as an IRS approved 501(c) (3) public charity, governed by a volunteer board of directors. Currently, we are the only charity focused on raising funds specifically for SCAD research.