Deborah Doyle’s Story

Heart Attack Survivor, Age 50, Mitchell, IN

Gives and receives support

Deborah's Story

At a little after 7:00 am on a Saturday morning I woke my husband up, crying, saying “Something is wrong with me…” Although not wanting to believe the worst, I took an aspirin anyway and headed to the local ER. A few hours and a nitro drip later my pain was diagnosed as “Esophageal spasms” and I was sent home with SL nitro pills and instructions to call a GI doc on Monday. After suffering through the next several hours with breathtaking chest pains, I landed on my knees and face in the middle of my living room floor. My husband then said, “We are going to ____” (a hospital in the neighboring county). There I was given a “GI cocktail” with no effect and within minutes it was determined I was having a heart attack. I was taken to the cath lab where a stent was placed in my LAD for a 99% occlusion.

I am not an athlete, but neither am I a couch potato. I am overweight, but not carrying around a grossly obese body. My diet wasn’t the greatest, but I didn’t scarf down chips and sweets everyday of the week. I was your normal, average everyday 46 year old working woman. A woman whose 51 year old father and 38 year old brother had died from CVD, and whose mother had undergone quintuple by-pass surgery. A woman who, for years, had went to Drs, NPs, and Specialist asking “Why am I so tired?” “Why do I hurt all the time?” “What is this chest pain I’m feeling?” “Why is it when I try to do this ‘couch to 5K’ program, I can’t breath?” I was given everything emotional as a diagnosis…stress, depression, anxiety. Even the oft used “fibromyalgia” was thrown at me. All I could think was “There IS something wrong with me. I’m not crazy.” After my heart attack, my cardiologist verified that most of my symptoms were classic heart disease. I had undergone EKGs, stress tests and the like…but no one had ever thought to do a cath, just in case. I had never been referred to a cardiologist for treatment. When I asked him if I could have had this blockage for several years he responded with “Oh, my goodness, yes!”  I was also told by a NP during a follow-up that I was a “walking miracle” as most people who have an occluded LAD die without treatment. I went all day with severe chest pains, taking nitro and antacids. It was the hand of God that kept me alive, of that I have no doubt. Please listen to your body, regardless of what other may tell you. You know you better than anybody else….

Give and Receive support from Deborah

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


« Previous   Next »

Now it's your turn
to share your Story.


Sorry, you need to be logged in to view this page. If you have not joined please .