When I was 42, I suffered my first heart attack. I was healthy, I practiced good eating habits, I led a healthy lifestyle, and the only risk factor I had was a family history of heart disease.
At work one day, I began experiencing jaw pain, and the next morning I was recovering from triple bypass surgery. It had never occurred to me that I could suffer a heart attack.
After surgery, I began the recovery process by going to the Life Center fitness club, and participating in Heart Life, a GHS program that teaches participants to live a heart healthy lifestyle through medically directed exercise, nutrition counseling, and stress reduction. It is one of the top cardiac prevention and rehabilitation programs in the country.
At Heart Life, I learned that patients with existing heart problems can reduce their risk of additional complications with the program. It can even help patients reverse the effects of heart disease.
Despite all of my precautions, I awoke from sleeping and knew that I was having another heart attack. The only course of action was to have another bypass surgery.
Heart disease is part of my everyday life now, and it is my goal to spread the word about the importance of heart health education and disease prevention. I still do everything possible to take care of myself and prevent further heart problems.
If you'd like more information on supporting patients and families, contact Philanthropy & Partnership Director of Heart & Vasular Services Kelly Wilkins at (864) 797-7737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.