From AHA Employee to Heart Survivor in Delaware

Mia deMartelieire has supported the AHA in Delaware as Administrative Assistant for several years. One day in July 2020, despite all of the knowledge she had as an AHA employee, she suddenly joined the ranks for millions of women across the nation and became a heart survivor.

Mia knew she had a family history of of high blood pressure, hypertension & heart disease. She knew her numbers, took her meds, exercised and ate well regularly. Mia knew to pay attention to her body. These habits may have saved her life!

Last July while running errands with some family and friends, Mia became overwhelmed with severe chest and arm pain, nausea, dizziness and sweats.  She began to make her way home after dropping off her passengers, but the feelings become overpowering. She pulled over to call her husband who quickly rushed to the scene.

When EMT’s arrived they were unable to detect any abnormalities on the EKG and tried to convince Mia that she may have pulled a muscle or be experiencing a panic attack.  After all of the survivor stories Mia has heard in her years at the AHA, she knew that wasn’t right!

Mia was finally taken and admitted to the hospital where tests confirmed that she was in Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, or SCAD, an emergency condition that occurs when a tear forms in a blood vessel in the heart causing a heart attack, abnormalities in heart rhythm or even sudden death.  Mia spent five days in the hospital where she received a catheter to relieve the blockage. She is grateful for the fact that she did not require surgery.

Surviving this ordeal, during the pandemic – has made Mia reprioritize her life. She takes stock in what matters, is thankful for her friends, family,  gift of life and the work of the American Heart Association! 

This year, Mia is more proud than ever to participate in AHA’s National Heart Month!