"People say to me that if I had a heart attack, anyone could. This was a wake-up call to everyone."
Louise feels it is imperative that she share her story with other Maine women, so that they take care of themselves so that they can be around for their families. This is why she is speaking at the Go Red for Women event in October. This is why she supports the American Heart Association.
Louise had a family history of heart disease. Her father had a heart attack at 45, as did her aunt but neither one took good care of their health. Louise was determined not to follow in their footsteps and to lead a heart healthy lifestyle full of exercise and healthy foods. After returning from a business trip at 55, Louise felt an odd cold feeling whenever she breathed in. There was no pain, tightness or any indication her heart was in distress so she thought she had caught a cold.
A few days, later while getting ready for bed, the same cold feeling in her chest came back. She then became anxious when she felt tightness around her neck. As a nurse, she thought, ‘what would I tell my patient if they had these symptoms?’ She turned to her husband and asked him to call 911, and as he picked up the phone, he saw her skin start turn grey. He silently panicked realizing he didn’t know CPR. She was having a heart attack.
Loiuse needed open heart surgery. The good news: due to Louise’s lifestyle, the procedure was less invasive and her recovery time minimal. The doctors also believe that, because of her healthy habits, she avoided having a heart attack in her forties like her father and aunt.
She is now dedicated to helping others by working with the American Heart Association to educate and inform Maine women.