Passion and Perseverance: Changing the Narrative for Aortic Dissection Patients
Through her sheer determination and steadfast dedication to patient support, trustee, Catherine Fowler has become an essential figure in the battle against aortic dissection. Recognised for her tireless work in healthcare services, Catherine is helping to bring about a paradigm shift in the diagnosis, treatment, and perception of this devastating condition.
From Personal Tragedy to a National Campaign
In 2015, Catherine’s world was rocked by the sudden death of her father, Tim Fleming, from an aortic dissection. Fuelled by the desire to prevent other families from experiencing the same heartbreak, she launched a national campaign in 2017 aimed at improving diagnostic rates and raising awareness of aortic dissection within emergency medicine across the UK and Ireland. Initially beginning as a family petition, this campaign soon took on a life of its own, highlighting the critical need for better patient support and healthcare policy change in dealing with aortic dissection.
Aortic Dissection Charity
Recognising the devastating outcomes that many aortic dissection patients faced, Catherine widened her scope. Working not only to improve diagnosis but also to enhance the quality and consistency of care for these patients across the entire treatment pathway. This led to the establishment of this trust in 2020, a registered charity that strives to identify the signs of aortic dissection and ensures consistent and specialised care for survivors. TADCT is now providing funding for medical research projects focused on the detection, prevention, treatment, and cure for aortic dissection, an incredible feat driven by Catherine’s unwavering commitment.
Recognition of a Change-Maker: The British Citizen Award
Catherine has now been honoured at the Palace of Westminster with the prestigious British Citizen Award (BCA) for Services to Healthcare. This honour acknowledges Catherine’s remarkable work in enhancing healthcare policy in the UK and Ireland, making sure that aortic dissection survivors receive the necessary specialised follow-up and care they need. It’s a testament to her dedication, exemplifying how personal tragedy can be transformed into a powerful force for change.
The Future of TADCT
As a co-founder, Chair, and one of the three trustees of TADCT, Catherine is not stopping there. She is dedicated to expanding the reach of the charity, serving as the patient and public voice representative on several important NHS England groups and committees. She continues to drive change and inspire others through her passionate and innovative advocacy, encouraging people from all walks of life to get involved with the charity and join the fight against aortic dissection.
Catherine’s story is a testament to how one individual, driven by a personal mission, can impact countless lives. Her journey, from mourning daughter to honoured advocate, offers hope to all affected by aortic dissection. It proves that with passion, dedication, and the courage to challenge the status quo, positive change is indeed possible.