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.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.