I am a Heart Attack Survivor

Before my heart attack, I ate right, chased my children and maintained my weight.

I worked in a busy laboratory setting.

I walked. I loved being a mom, wife, vegetarian and healthy. I’d been to the doctor to get a physical for insurance. Everything was perfect, absolutely no red flags.

On March 14, 2011, I started my day as any other day. I got up and got everyone ready for their day. I fed the dogs and went to work. It was a cool day and I needed a jacket.

I had skipped both breakfast and lunch and was tired all day.

Still tired after work, I picked up the kids and went shopping. When we got home, I asked the kids to put away the groceries because I was exhausted. I got up to feed the dogs, and my back and stomach hurt so badly I fell to the floor and complained of what I thought was the worst gas known to mankind.

I vomited and thought, ‘Now I feel better.’ Then I went upstairs, brushed my teeth and thought, ‘Gosh, it’s hot.’ I went to sit in the sunroom, and my 9-year-old son, Naeem, said, “Mom you’re having a heart attack; we have to get you to the hospital.”

“No honey, I’m just tired.”

My stomach and my back still hurt. The children called my husband, Robert, at work. He wanted us to go to the hospital just for good measure.

At the hospital I was told I was having a heart attack and that women’s symptoms are different. Our bodies tell us what is going on, but because we are nurturers, we don’t pay attention.

Four years out, I am enjoying life. I have four stents and I feel great.

Highlighting our readers’ experiences with heart disease from their own perspective. We’re always looking for contributions, so please send us yours. Before submitting, please review our Writer’s Guidelines.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

AD. American Heart Association logo. Know your blood pressure numbers. And what they mean. Gain Control. button: learn more.


AD. American Heart Association Support Network. Everyone's diagnosis story is different and sharing yours can help others. Join the Support Network and share your experience. heart.org/SupportNetwork


AD: American Heart Association logo. Symptoms. Always feeling tired isn't normal. Learn the signs of Heart Valve Disease.


AD. American Heart Association logo. Know your blood pressure numbers. And what they mean. Gain Control. button: learn more.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Special Topic Supplements

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.


Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.