I’m Cindy and this is my story. After five heart attacks, I’m happy to still be alive. You can bet I’ve made big changes to help prevent another, especially when it comes to stress.
When I was 42, I suffered my first heart attack. I was healthy—I practiced good eating habits, led a healthy lifestyle, and the only risk factor I had was a family history.
At work one day, I began experiencing some jaw pain, and the next morning I was recovering from triple bypass surgery. At the time, it never occurred to me that I could be having a heart attack.
After surgery I began the recovery process by going to the Life Center, a part of Greenville Health System (GHS), and participating in Heart Life. Despite all of the precautions, heart disease is often unpredictable.
On September 4, 2001, almost one year to the day of my first heart attack, I awoke from sleeping and knew that I was having another massive heart attack. The only course of action was to undergo another heart bypass surgery.
I think about heart disease every day now, and it is my goal to help spread the word about the importance of heart health education and prevention. Because of my experience with heart disease, I want to encourage women to realize the importance of taking action when they suspect they are experiencing one of the symptoms of a heart attack and immediately seek the care of a doctor.
Heart disease is the most prevalent chronic condition in the upstate of South Carolina. More than 10,000 patients are treated at GHS Heart Institute each year. Heart and vascular specialists use the latest advances in cardiac medicine to diagnose, treat, and prevent heart problems that afflict so many in our community.
In addition to cardiac problems, the Vascular Health Alliance provides cardiovascular risk factor modification and treatment for vascular diseases that often coincide with cardiac problems. GHS has the largest vascular disease program in South Carolina and treats more vascular patients than any other hospital in the state.
If it hadn’t been for the specialists at GHS, my story might be different.
Learn more about the Vascular Health Alliance.