Straight from the Heart
During her career in the U.S. Army, and in the years following her retirement, Maria Slack has been committed to healthy eating, weight management and a high level of fitness. In fact, her lifestyle would seem to remove her from the usual concerns about heart health … except for a significant family history of heart disease, and that's one risk factor you can't eliminate.
It was May 11th, 2015 and I attributed my upset stomach to some dental work I had done earlier in the day. But when I suddenly felt like I was sitting in sauna I knew something was wrong and immediately called 911. It was only when the paramedics came and put me on the gurney that I felt the kind of chest pain that's usually associated with a heart attack –which is a good reminder that women may not experience classic symptoms like men, so we need to be especially vigilant. I went straight to the cath lab and ended up getting two stents to open up the blocked arteries. The whole process, from the time I called 911 until the stents were in place, took less than an hour.
Part of the reason is that when my husband and I retired from the military we bought a house that's only a short walk from Riverside. But what saved even more time is that the medical team was ready for me when I arrived and was very efficient. Since then I'm even more focused on nutrition and exercise and take part in a supervised program at the Riverside Wellness &Fitness Center. And I remind people to get medical assistance at the very first sign of a heart attack. I'm gratified to report that following that advice has already made a difference in the life of a friend.