Banner Heart Hospital offers free Heart Health Fair, April 30
MESA, Ariz. (April 22, 2011) – Think heart disease only affects the elderly? You may be surprised to know that heart disease is increasing among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
Banner Heart Hospital will host a Heart Health Fair from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 30, at the hospital, 6750 E. Baywood Ave. During the fair, participants can receive free cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and body fat screenings; watch heart-healthy cooking demonstrations; receive tours of the Catheterization Lab and Operating Rooms; and get heart smart about heart diseases like atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and women's heart disease risk factors.
Knowing the risks associated with heart problems has become personal for one young woman at Banner Heart. Lucy Williams, a 29-year-old clinical exercise physiologist at the hospital’s Cardiology and Pulmonary Rehabilitation department, knew heart issues ran in her family, primarily from relatives who had experienced heart attacks. She took all of the right steps to avoid heart trouble, from eating right to lots of exercise. Even so, she would sometimes pass out after exercise and she experienced a racing heartbeat.
It took prodding from her coworkers for Williams to see a cardiac electrophysiologist to check her heart’s electrical function. “There was a series of four tests,” Williams said. “I passed the first three easily, but I bombed on the last one – a table tilt test. I knew something was happening and I thought I said I wasn’t feeling well, that I was going to pass out.
“The next thing I knew, the nurse was standing over me, asking why I didn’t let them know how I was feeling. I explained that I had said so, but apparently the only thing that came out of my mouth was a short, ‘Unnn,’ before I passed out.”
More alarming for Williams was the fact that her heart had completely stopped for 12 seconds and it took several minutes for her to regain consciousness. “I had previous episodes where I had passed out, but I didn’t think my heart had stopped. This scared me to think that I wouldn’t have time to pull over to the side of the road if I had been driving, or what would happen if I had been hiking in rough terrain,” Williams said.
To help her heart, Williams received a pacemaker and has had to change her diet to make sure she stays well hydrated. “Before this, when I thought pacemaker, I thought of my grandparents, but I know now that there are younger people who need them,” she said.
She also has a new connection with her patients going through their rehab program. “It’s another way for me to connect with them,” Williams said. “Before I was just a 20-something physiologist, but now I know what they’re experiencing and can help, and they listen a little more when they know I have a heart problem and I’m back to work to help them get back to their life.”
To register for clinical screenings (cholesterol, glucose, body fat) at the Heart Health Fair, please call Banner Health’s Hotline, (602) 230-CARE (230-2273). To ensure more accurate screenings, participants will be asked to come after fasting for 8-10 hours.
About Banner Heart Hospital
Banner Heart Hospital is one of the largest free-standing heart hospitals in the nation. It is the only Nationally Accredited Heart Failure Institute in Arizona and one of the first in the nation. Services at Banner Heart Hospital include open heart surgery, diagnosis, heart failure and heart rhythm treatment, and rehabilitation. To learn more, please visit www.bannerhealth.com/bannerheart.
email Banner Heart Hospital Public Relations