LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) ------- Lori Moser cheated death. "I was gone for a half an hour. I died for 30 minutes." The 38 year old mother of four had hardly any warning. "It's scary. As little as I went through before it happened. Had I not been near the ER I would not be here."
Heart disease is a medical crisis in the United States. Every 34 seconds, someone is stricken with a heart attack.
They occur when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely.
For years heart attacks were mostly thought of as a man's disease, but doctors are finding more and more patients are women.
Lori's boyfriend took action when he noticed something wasn't right with her. "It was just uncomfortable. I wouldn't have taken myself in. So obviously my body language said something to Adam about taking me in because he was like ok - enough is enough - just get in the car, we're taking you in."
Lori says she had shortness of breath and she felt tired, but it didn't seem like anything to worry about. Her heart surgeon, Dr. Prem Rabindranauth, cardiothoracic surgeon from Gundersen Lutheran says that's the problem. "Most people that are young will pass off some of these symptoms cause it's specific whether it's chest pains or heartburn. Some aches and pains. It's not necessarily a heart attack that comes to mind. We don't specifically know what causes any patients heart attack but we do know some of the common symptoms: smoking, family history, stress, diabetes, hypertension, poor diet, high cholesterol-these are some of the common ones."
Lori needed a double bypass even though there was no blockage or plaque in her arteries according to Dr. Rabindranauth. "What we did was took a piece of vein out of her leg and attached it to her aorta and the other went to that artery-and this was all past the artery that was blocked and that's why we call it a bypass. You bypass the area that's blocked."
Now Lori is in good health and a good frame of mind. And so are her children. "The thing that stands out the most is when my 12 year old said, 'Mom I'm glad you're back'."
After that, Lori made a life altering decision. "I couldn't look at my kids and still be smoking. After all they went through with all the stress and wondering and what they went through in the hospital."
She also has a message for friends and family. "Listen to your body. It may not feel like anything but it's worth getting checked out. It's worth going in. Either get it checked out or go down to urgent care. You know cause I was a wait-an-see kind of person and that has changed, too, in my life, because you can't wait and see it might be too late."
Other common signs of a heart attack in women are feeling nauseous and back or jaw pain.
Doctors say the best medicine for your heart is a good diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
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