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Becky Broadwater’s Story

Heart Attack Survivor, Age 55, Grantsville, MD

Gives and receives support

Mother's Day Banquet 5-8-2012 005 (Me 3)

Becky's Story

I was a 53 year old woman that worked full time as a Med Tech, I kept my Grandchildren ages 5 years old and a 5 month old! I had all my Christmas shopping done, gifts wrapped, baking done and was exhausted. I just had no energy, and, it was almost Christmas! On Dec. 21, 2011 and I just couldn’t make myself get off the couch! At 1:00 p.m I told my husband I guess I will go to the hospital, something wasn’t right. I packed a bag and we went to the E.R. I walked in and they took me right away. The nurse couldn’t get my vitals and asked if I could walk across the hall and I did. Next thing I knew she told me she thought I was having a heart attack! My reply was: “WHAT”, I was literally in shock! All I really remember after that was there was nursing staff everywhere and off to the Heart Cath lab we went. After the Cath, the Cardiologist and Surgeon came out to talk to my husband. He was told that I had a Massive Heart Attack! The main artery in the left side of my heart was 100% blocked and had so much pressure that it blew a hole in the inside of my heart. They told him he had 2 choices, they could do nothing and he knew what would happen or take me straight to surgery and I had a 20% chance of survival. Was this really a choice, no, my husband signed the consent form and off we went for my surgery. During surgery, I was only given a 5% chance that my heart would restart, and Thanks to God, my Doctors and nursing staff, it did! That was the beginning of my life changing experience. Next thing I remember was the Surgeon telling me I had a Massive Heart Attack, but I was going to be OK! I was asleep for 5 days. I do remember my family being there numerous times. My husband would always tell me he was there and he loved me! Next I remember the nurses telling me: Wake up Becky! Over and Over they told me and finally I did! I was in the hospital 13 day and was amazed how I progressed. Finally, I was able to go home 13 days later. My heart attack has been a very life changing experience. Everything is different. I worked full time, now I’m not able to work! I had an income, now I have none, I never took medications, now I take “many”, and I now eat much healthier. Also, I exercise 3-4 times a week and I have lost over 50 pounds. I have had a wonderful support team, my Family and Friends. They were wonderful and I will forever be grateful and thankful! Also, I had people praying from the East Coast to Oklahoma! I thank God, our Pastor and the church everyday for their prayers and support during this most difficult time. After two trips to the ER and 5 days in the hospital in March, I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and CHF. My Cardiologist recommended I go to the Heart Failure Clinic, and I did. They kept a very close eye on me. I told them I just wasn’t feeling like I thought I should and the Cardiologist said the only way to find out for sure was to do a Muga Scan, and I told him: Let’s do it! I want to know why I am feeling the way I am. In the beginning of April I had the Muga scan done to determine how strong my heart really was! Turned out I only have 24% of my heart left! When the Cardiologist told me this all I could do was say: Oh my, Oh my, Oh my! Two weeks later I went back in the hospital and had a Defib/Pacemaker inserted. In Aug. I was told there was a problem with my unit! A specialist was brought in for a second opinion and he agreed, there was definitely a problem and I needed to go back to surgery and see exactly what was going on. Turned out the line from the Defib. to the heart was not secured properly and pacemaker was not turned on. So he corrected the problems and since then, I have been doing “great”! My Cardiologist encouraged me to go to Cardiac Rehab. This was an 18 week program,. I was reluctant at first, but, I did “Great” and thankful now that I did! I am proud to say: I completed the program. My Cardiologist also told me numerous times I was stubborn, and I told him, sometimes it pays to be stubborn, I’m still here! The surgeon called me his Christmas Miracle and the Cardiologist continues to call me his Miracle Baby! I encourage all women to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as women’s signs and symptoms are different than that of a man. Also, Support the American Heart Association and the Go Red program. May God bless each of you reading this!

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Becky is interested in giving and receiving support from other women with heart disease. Contact her if you'd like to give and receive support.

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