Meet Carol. Difficulties sleeping, breathing problems and pressure on her chest were the symptoms she had and knew it was time to go to the ER. There she found out that serious trouble had been brewing and the road to recovery would be demanding, full of complicated decisions and include multiple trips to the hospital for extended stays.
Merilee was diagnosed as a child with a heart murmur, she expected some challenges as she grew older but as a very young woman, much younger than expected, trouble escalated quickly. Her useless valve was replaced with a healthy one from a generous donor. Merilee says there is no way to truly prepare for recovery but she has been steadfast and successfully completed a 5K run this past fall.
Sharon, not a stranger to heart disease as her family history will attest, got by as the “healthy one” in her family. After successful back surgery, Sharon thought shortness of breath was part of her recovery. Just to be sure everything was going as it should, she had a meaningful conversation with her doctor. Her symptoms were actually coming from her heart and things were serious. Sharon had quadruple bypass surgery.
These women are Champions. They inspire us by representing women who were caught off guard, whose lives have been turned upside down by heart disease. At Food for a Woman’s Heart these women will encourage us to take care of ourselves and to listen carefully to what our bodies are telling us.
This is why you should pay attention:
- Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.
- An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
- 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
- Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
- 80% of heart disease and stroke events may be prevented by lifestyle changes and education.
- Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.
- The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.
Ref: The American Heart Association, Dallas, TX