From Near Death Experience to Celtic Irish Audio Drama: a story of survival far from home

Ascending aortic dissection survivor tells story of returning home after emergency open heart surgery alone in Ireland
By: Shana Pennington-Baird, Voice Artist LLC
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Broken Wide Open Demo
Broken Wide Open Demo
SEATTLE - Feb. 8, 2022 - PRLog -- Broken Wide Open, an audio drama released in partnership with Spoken Realms, powered by Shunpike, releases on and iTunes on March 15, 2022, telling the true story of Shana Pennington-Baird who survived a life-threatening ascending aortic aneurysm rupture while traveling alone in Ireland in 2019. Surviving a "triple A" is rare. Her surgeon did not expect her to survive the ambulance ride to the hospital or the 12-hour emergency open heart surgery to implant a mechanical valve.

This is a highly dangerous condition and incredibly life threatening. John Ritter, the actor from Three's Company, died of aortic dissection. And rarely known, Lucile Ball also died of an aortic dissection following surgery to repair her first dissection. Aortic dissection is often fatal and happy stories are few and far between. The main cause for fatalities is misdiagnosis. In Broken Wide Open, the quick diagnosis of this rare condition 5,000 miles from home saved Shana's life.

"I felt fine the day before it happened," said Pennington-Baird. "I hiked 5 miles at Giant's Causeway. There had been a tiny popping sensation in my chest almost three weeks before. That was followed by some heart burn-like symptoms. When I got to my Air BnB in Dingle in 2019, all the color leached out of the world and I knew something was very, very wrong."

Upon returning to Seattle, Shana was asked by surgeons, doctors, nurses and med techs about her Ireland health adventure. For the next three months, Shana was asked repeatedly by medical professionals if she was writing down these stories to share. They were funny, informative and potentially lifesaving for others in the midst of an aortic health event.

This is the first solo work for Shana Pennington-Baird (narrator/vocals/bodhrán), who has over 25 years of professional theatre experience, including the Bathhouse Theatre, Cabaret Productions, Seattle Shakespeare Festival. David Koch (director) has produced shows in the Seattle-area for thirty years, including running the Crepe de Paris and Cabaret Productions. Robertson Witmer (sound design, music composition, concertina, accordion) has sound designed productions for the Seattle Opera, Seattle Shakespeare Festival, ACT Theatre. Dave Pascal (bass, mastering, music sound design) currently plays electric and acoustic basses at Triple Door and 5th Ave Theatre and with the Love Markets.

Broken Wide Open will be released on March 15th. Pre-order the audio drama at In August 2022, Broken Wide Open will also be traveling to the the Edinburgh Fringe Fest as a solo stage show with the full Celtic band.

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Tags:Aortic, Aortic dissection, Travel Insurance, Celtic Music, Audio Drama
Industry:Arts, Health, Travel
Location:Seattle - Washington - United States
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