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Local women 'Go Red'

Heart health
Feb. 01, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A public service announcement with a comedic tone played at the annual St. Mary's Regional Heart Institute's Go Red for Women luncheon Friday, showing a woman in her 30s trying to get the children ready for school.

You can see her stress level rising and her son tells her to quit stressing or she'll have a heart attack. Then he hands her a phone showing a website with symptoms of a heart attack.

She calls 911 and gives them her symptoms and learns an ambulance can be there in two minutes. Then she looks around at the toys on the floor and food on the counter and jokingly asks for 10 minutes.

The video may have been funny, but the message at the luncheon at the St. Mary's Center for Education was serious.

"It's awareness that heart disease is not a man's disease," said Dr. Paulette Wehner, Women's Heart Program director at St. Mary's and the senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and a professor in cardiovascular services at the Joan C. Edward School of Medicine. "That's the whole red dress campaign."

As the keynote speaker, Wehner said as an educator and doctor, the two go hand in hand so patients and the more than 100 woman who attended Friday can go out and spread the message.

"The personal message here is every female heart patient we see has an incredible story, but the common theme is they tend to take care of others and not themselves."

Survivor Jane Cox, who was among those who took part in the Macy's fashion show, said she exercised and tried to eat right. But genetics caught up with her. She said at least a dozen people in her immediately family have died from heart attacks and it almost happened to her.

"I feel like I was left here for a purpose," Cox said. "It's wonderful to be a survivor. I try to be an example."

Dr. Carrie Willis, a cardiology fellow at the medical school, said as a woman she was encouraged to be surrounded by survivors. And more women can share that title if they realize they are just as at risk as their husbands, fathers or brothers.

The other survivors who participated in the fashion show included Tara Farren, Vicki Taylor, Jane Edelen and Sophie Gentry.

The luncheon is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.



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