SMYTH COUNTY, Va. - Thursday was the fifth of the month, and that means it's time to Live Red for Women's Heart Health. It's a partnership with Wellmont Health System to educate you on the signs of heart disease.
We meet a woman from Smyth County who had a heart attack at a young age.
A success story is what doctors are calling Barbara Moser. She walks several miles a day on trails at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, but what you may not know is she had a heart attack at a young age. "My doctor told me it was anxiety, so we went on with that. I did an EK, but it showed nothing. Eventually it kept getting worse and worse, and eventually I did have a heart attack," says Moser.
Doctors told Moser the heart attack was caused when one of her heart veins split. "It was a freak occurrence that happens in women under 40. I had no other blockages or anything, just a dissection," she said.
Moser says a few years down the road in 2007, she had similar symptoms all over again. This time she had a procedure to put a defibrillator in. "I was very depressed after I had that implant, because everybody was much older than I was the first time I went to have my device checked," adds Moser.
Moser went to the Heart Success Program in Kingsport. Clinical Director Robin Harris says there are specific symptoms for people with heart failure. If a patient doesn't catch the symptoms in time it could be deadly, "Patients with heart failure have decreased heart pumping function that can cause common symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath."
Harris says heart failure patients need to be more active, eat less salts, and weigh themselves. "Patients that have heart failure can have fluid retention, and that fluid can build up very quickly sometimes. It is important that they weigh every morning to monitor for that," Harris said.
Moser encourages anyone who notices something out of the ordinary to go to the doctor right away. "You know yourself better than anyone. Don't be afraid to be bold and to speak out and say, 'no, no this is not right,'" she said.
Five weeks ago Moser went for a check-up and found out her heart function increased by 15 percent after decreasing for years.
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