A real patient story

When I was 39, with zero risk factors for heart disease, I had all the classic symptoms associated with a heart attack. My doctors put me on three blood thinners to dissolve a clot in a minor artery seen in an angiogram. The next day, while the original clot had dissolved, I had a clot in a larger artery. Baffled, the cardiologists put in a stent. As they backed the scope out of the artery, it spasmed in another location.

At that time, I had a 4-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 12-year-old. My husband traveled extensively for work. I asked myself two questions: 1) How do I feel about dying at age 39? 2) If I don’t die, how do I live?

I was okay about dying at age 39, except that my husband would have to hire a full-time nanny or have to abandon a job he loved. Once home, my heart was “cranky” from the attacks, and I was told to rest whenever it “complained”. I concluded that I would be in bed the rest of my life if I heeded that advice. Also, I was told “no negative stress.” How does one do that while raising 3 active children, keeping a home, working, and being a wife without some negative stress?

I decided, “If I can die in the next five minutes, I will make those five minutes matter.” I chose to laugh. I chose to be thankful for every moment here. I chose to encourage others. I chose to be useful. I chose to fight for the next five minutes.

Today I am a grandmother of four beautiful grandchildren and I’m in my 60s, even though I had two more heart attacks at age 53. I received my master’s degree in counseling psychology at age 51. I received a certificate in spiritual direction at the age of 57. I have traveled all over the world. I am writing a book about my health adventures. I blog. I mentor. I moderate. I encourage. I make a difference with a lot of “five minutes”.


  United States of America

Get Informed

Learn all about the symptoms, causes and triggers of these heart conditions.

Educate. Inform. Enlighten.

Click to access the login or register cheese