Recovery through giving
With grit and determination, Carol fought heart disease twice doing through surgery and recovery. Now, she’s fighting it with something she loves: golf.
With the help of Banner Heart Hospital, the Mesa resident wants to raise awareness of how deadly heart disease can be for women. She is working with the hospital on an annual golf tournament to benefit heart research and education for females.
“It’s such a denial thing for women but it is the number-one killer of women and the reason is because women don’t pay attention.’’
In women, heart-attack symptoms can be different. Men usually experience crushing chest pain during a heart attack.; women may have softer pain in the abdomen or indigestion, difficulty breathing, nausea or fatigue.
For Carol, she was golfing at the tenth hole when she had a “biting sensation’’, like the headache you get when you eat too much ice cream, only this pain was around her heart. She went to Banner Baywood Medical Center’s Emergency Department and less than a week later, after a stress test and an angiogram, she had a bypass surgery because some of her arteries were 90-percent blocked.
Carol rebounded and started listening to her body. Two years later, she felt those familiar pains. She returned to the hospital and surgeons installed a defibrillator to keep her heart beating steadily.
Now, she is on the go again and this time, hard at work on the golf tournament, which in its first year raised $20,000 for awareness about women's heart care. She says women should be just as diligent about getting annual heart checks as they are about mammograms. A woman is ten times more likely to die from heart disease as breast cancer.
“My point is to women, you know, your symptoms are different, just listen up.''
Carol: I am living proof.