American Heart Association’s Survivor Class 2017: Meet Patricia Cummings
Meet Patricia Cummings a member of the "Go Red Survivor Class 2017." She tells us about surviving a heart attack and why being a part of "Go Red for Women" is so important.
Patricia admits she lived a very stressful life before her heart attack: she had stressful relationships, she smoked, and she worked in an office where she sat behind a desk. She says she didn't exercise, didn't eat well, and didn't really pay much attention to her health.
In the video (above), Patricia says she started not feeling well about a year before she actually had her heart attack. She explains,
...Just tired. Couldn't pinpoint why I wasn't feeling well. I all of a sudden started not being able to do what I was able to do.
Things didn't get better from there. She noticed pain in her chest (which she thought was just indigestion), and then it hit her... She knew what was happening. She was having a heart attack.
Patricia made it to the hospital, and woke up later in the ICU. She says,
They told me I had had a heart attack, 100% blockage in the front artery, and that another 10 minutes I would have been dead.
Just let Patricia's words sink in for a minute...
All those moments when we dismiss a sign or symptom could end up being a fatal decision. If Pat just blew it off, or assumed that the pain would go away in the morning and tried to go to sleep instead, she probably wouldn't have woken up. And then she wouldn't have been around to share her important message with the rest of us.
Of course, Patricia's story has a happier ending than that scenario. Not only did she survive her heart attack, but she hasn't picked up another cigarette since the incident. She made some other major changes to her life as well...
...I go to the gym, I exercise. Right now, I'm in the process of losing some extra weight that I had gained. I eat very well, I eat very healthy. I don't eat fried foods anymore...
14 months after Pat's heart attack, she had to have a defibrillator put in. Some scary words to hear! Especially after she had changed her life after her heart attack. Watch the video (at the top of this page), and hear Pat explain the situation for having the defibrillator put in.
Patricia wants women to know that this can happen to anyone. Everyone hears the stories, but they never think they could have a heart attack. But it does happen. She's so happy to be a part of "Go Red for Women" and to be able to share her story, in hopes that it will inform other women. She adds,
...Your life choices will have effects on your health later on down the road. Smoking is a big one, how you handle stress. Take care of you.
Very important words to hear, and words to let sink in. It's so easy to ignore the way we treat our bodies, and ignore the signs our bodies give us when something is wrong. But it's a dangerous game to live that way, and for a lot of people they don't get a second opportunity to make it right.
In the video, Pat explains that her friends and family is her "why." The "Go Red for Women" campaign asks you to find your "why." What do you want to be around for? Who do you want to be around for? This is your why. Remember your "why," and remember that this is the reason why it's so important to have regular checkups with your doctor, and to listen to your body if something doesn't feel right.
Please join us for an afternoon of heart awareness, survivor stories, and important messages on heart health and issues at the "Go Red for Women Luncheon." The luncheon will be at Daniele's Banquet Specialists in New Hartford on Wednesday, May 3rd, from noon to 1pm.