By Kathy Goss, Guest Blogger
In 2006, while shopping at Macy’s, I purchased a Red Dress pin in support of the Go Red for Women movement. I did this in honor of my sister Roberta, who died from a massive heart attack at the age of 42. Just a week before I picked up some information provided by the American Heart Association Go Red for Women at the hospital where I worked on how the symptoms of women and heart disease are different. I read it and saved it for future reference.
Now, this is where The Twist part comes in, literally. Even with being overweight I was active and could always twist the night away. It was when I was at a dinner dance and realized that whenever I attempted to do the twist, I would feel a dull pain in my back between my shoulder blades and I was out of breath. If I sat down it would go away, so I went back on the dance floor and the same symptoms returned. It was then that I realized something is not right and I remembered the information that I had read about women’s symptoms and heart disease and knew this is what I was experiencing.
With my family history of Coronary Artery Disease I called the doctor in the morning. After I failed my cardiac stress test I was given a cardiac cauterization at which time it was found that my LAD artery was 99% blocked and I needed 3 stents to open the artery. It was just in the nick of time – preventing a massive heart attack.
After that, I took control of my life, ate healthy, lost weight and began to exercise on a regular basis. It was time I stopped ignoring my family history of heart disease. According to my cardiologist, if I had not paid attention to my symptoms and sought help I wouldn’t have been here to see my daughters marry and have their children. Making memories with my grandchildren wouldn’t be possible.
Thank you Go Red for Women and The Twist – you saved my life. Life is Why!
Kathy is a survivor ambassador for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association in New Jersey. Join Kathy at the 15th Annual Garden State Go Red For Women Luncheon for a day of celebration, inspiration and education.
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