Natalie Ellington, Washington
In November 2009 I was working 12 hours a day and often six days a week as the principal of a K-12 school. As I was leaving my office late one afternoon my heart was pounding so severely I decided to stop by the local emergency room to see what was going on. When I checked in my blood pressure was 205/132. The emergency room doctor told me “Your body is trying to have a stroke and we’re going to stop it.”
As often as possible, I speak at churches, businesses and women’s events about the warning signs of heart disease and stroke. More importantly I talk about the controllable factors – things we have the ability to adjust in our lives. If through my story and my example I can help one other woman turn her life around, sooner rather than later, I will have accomplished much more than I ever accomplished on any job, any assignment or any project I’ve tackled over the past 40 years. I hope my story helps make a difference.