Over four years ago, my father survived a heart attack. Thanks to his coworkers who sprung into action to get him the help he needed and a great medical team, he was home and recovering in two days. He was lucky, and my family and I are blessed to still have him today, healthier than ever.
Like many of you, my family has a history of heart disease on both sides. I, myself, was diagnosed with hypertension at 42. Seeing two of your grandparents suffer severe strokes that completely changed their lives and having an uncle pass away from a fatal heart attack at 44 (my current age), gives one a heightened awareness of the importance of heart health.
My best friend had deep vein thrombosis at 38, which lead to a pulmonary embolism. She survived thanks to a nurse who was carefully monitoring her. I’m so happy to still have her here. I have had two other friends (ages 31 and 46) who didn’t have or heed the warning signs, and lost their lives due to similar blood clots.
At A Woman’s Heart, you will hear from Dr. Cortney Baker, who suffered two strokes before she was 38. It’s not just men in their sixties, like my father, who have heart problems. Heart health is a concern for all of us.
I don’t say all of these things to scare anyone. I say this for awareness. Lifestyle, diet and genetics all play a role. For women, the signs of heart disease often appear as other issues. We have to know more, so that we can protect one another. The most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones is being aware of the signs of heart and circulatory issues. Events like A Woman’s Heart that support the work of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Stroke Rehabilitation Program are key to the awareness that will help us all survive and thrive no matter the health issues that may come our way.