Meet Lynette Anderson. Lynnette is a registered nurse, and like many AHA volunteers has an extensive background in heart attack care. She was a Critical Care Nurse for 20 years, currently working in the quality department where she monitors and collects data on heart attack patients in addition to 15 years as EMT on the Page Ambulance squad. Lynnette knew the importance of receiving quick and timely care for a heart attack.
Never did she think at the age of 47, that she would be the one that needed to be cared for. Her symptoms were vague and atypical, as they often can be for women her age. Lynnette’s left arm simply ached and she was fatigued while doing yard work and gardening. Nothing relieved the persistent achy feeling. She rationalized to herself that it could not be a heart attack with no family history of heart disease, good blood pressure and cholesterol and no shortness of breath or sweatiness.
Lynette’s husband, Rick, mentioned on several occasions over the weekend that maybe they should go in to the Emergency Department just in case it was something. Rick had heard on the radio how young women have atypical symptoms when they have a heart attack. Lynnette assured Rick she was fine and told him there was no way this was a heart attack – she was too young and didn’t have enough symptoms or risk factors.
A clinic visit Monday morning identified an acute heart attack. After a quick ambulance ride to the hospital and a procedure to open an artery that was 99% blocked, Lynnette is doing well, back to her life as a mom, farm wife, and nurse.
Lynette knows how lucky she is to be alive without permanent heart damage. Fewer woman than men survive their first heart attack. She has been given a second chance at life and wants others to have the same opportunity. Lynnette has become a volunteer for the AHA and shares her story in the hope that it may help one woman or one family to seek care immediately and to realize the importance of owning their lifestyle: stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
Lynnette encourages others to become an advocate, to volunteer and become involved. Your voice can make a difference!