Thursday, February 20, 2014

Heart Attack Survivor at 40

I met Shelly at my first Go Red Ambassador meeting. She is another amazing lady and I am so proud to share her story! Like me, she is a heart attack survivor and she was in her very early 40's when she suffered her heart attack.  Here is Shelly's story:

Shelly and her family

It was a typical evening on August 14th, 2004 until about 11:00pm, when I woke up with a bad case of indigestion.  I tried to treat it but realized the pressure in my chest was getting worse.  As the hours went by, I broke into a cold sweat and became very weak and nauseous.  It became so bad, I could hardly move across the room and it was then that I made that 3:00 a.m. call to my sister who lives only a couple of blocks away.  My sister rushed over, took one look at me and knew I was in trouble.  She dialed 9-1-1 and within minutes the Lee’s Summit Fire Department showed up.  While they were checking my vital signs, my blood pressure dropped so low that they could not get a pulse.  I was rushed to the emergency room at Lee’s Summit hospital. It was the talk in the ER that a 40 year old woman was having a heart attack.  I was then rushed to Research Medical Center for an emergency cardiac catheterization. My heart had started beating irregularly and a defibrillator was used to shock me once to stop it and a second time to start it again.  During this scary scene, my sisters were watching and praying from the hallway.   An experience like this doesn’t just affect the individual but also affects family, friends and co-workers.  My son who was 11-years old at the time,  showed gratitude for my  survival by sending in a nomination to the KANSAS CITY’S KINDEST KANSAS CITIAN AWARD for the paramedic who helped save my life.   After looking back on this, I realize I had been having symptoms for several months.  I had been having shooting pains in my mouth/jaw periodically and pain in my right shoulder blade, which I never knew were signs of a heart attack.  If I had known, I would not have had to endure such a scary, scary night and neither would my family.  Since my heart attack, I have never had those symptoms again.  It is my mission to spread the word to other women to know the signs and to know the warnings!!!!  I am proud to be an Ambassador for Go Red For Women for the last several years and was honored to be a Co-Chair this year.  It is my mission to spread the word to bring awareness so it doesn’t happen to your mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, girlfriend….. or YOU!!!

Shelly (right) and her sisters
Shelly and Me--Heart Sisters!

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