Updated: Thursday, 20 May 2010, 6:10 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 20 May 2010, 6:10 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The second year for the Go Red Luncheon in Fort Wayne was a sold out event. Around 200 people, mostly women, came to learn more about heart disease in women.
"This is my first year with heart problems, and I didn't know [events like this] existed. It's great to see everyone working so hard to keep the word out there," Jamie King, said.
Last year, King, 30, collapsed at the gym. She was having a heart attack.
"I knew I had a high pulse, but no one ever took it seriously," she said. "The electrical system of my heart's not right and when it gets beating too fast it doesn't know where to pump."
Now King has a defibrillator to keep her heart in line.
Megan Miller shared her story at the lunch. She is a three-time stroke survivor. She was 30 years old when she had her first stroke. The second came six years later and the third was ten months after that.
"I was young, healthy and physically fit. It was quite a shock," Miller said.
Her husband found her on the bathroom floor and the left side of her body was paralyzed.
"I was lucky I was having such drastic stroke signs because he knew right away I was having a stroke," Miller said.
Miller regained use of arms and legs and has no visible signs of a stroke. Now Miller is taking a blood thinner medication to help prevent another stroke, but it's not guaranteed. She has a connective tissue disorder affecting the arteries leading to the brain and heart.
"Don't stereotype people who have a heart attack or stroke. They could be people like me," Miller said.
Miller said by sharing her story she hopes to help prevent other women from having a heart attack or stroke.
" The Go Red for Women movement motto is 'Speak Up to Save Lives.' By sharing our stories, we will save lives and many of those lives were here today."
Indiana First Lady Cheri Daniels also came to the event. Her mother had heart disease, and when she became the first lady, she chose women's heart health as one of her main causes.
"The word needs to be spread to women all over the state that this is their number one health threat," Daniels said. "The hope is that the women take this information and spread it to others."
Heart attacks in women can give very different signs in women than in men.
"They may not feel tightness in the chest like men do. They might feel nausious. They might feel tired, and it's a tiredness different than they might normally have," Wendy King, from the American Heart Association, said. "You know your body and when something is different, you need to go get checked out."
A major hurdle when women have a heart attack or stroke is getting the women to get treated.
"Women don't want to make a fuss. Women are less likely than men to think they are having a heart attack or stroke and women are less likely than men to seek treatment," Miller said.
If someone thinks he or she is having a heart attack or stroke, call 9-1-1. They shouldn't try to drive themselves to the hospital.
"Every minute they [ignore symptoms], the stroke or heart attack is damaging the body," Wendy King said.
Daniels emphasized changing habits to reduce one's risk factors. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting physical activity for 30 minutes a day five days a week, eating heart-healthy food, and not smoking are some of the best ways to reduce the risk for heart disease.
"We can do things to give ourselves a better chance against heart disease, and that's what we have to start doing," Daniels said.
The event also had free health screenings.
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