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Mum who had a heart attack at 38 and AGAIN at 40 shares the warning signs she missed

A fit and healthy mother of two has revealed how she suffered a heart attack at 38 before suffering a ‘near heart attack’ less than two years later.

Nicola, now 44, from Melbourne, told FEMAIL she had been feeling a little lightheaded, having “heartburn” and hot flashes in the hours before her attack.

But things intensified when Nicola put her two children to bed.

Nicola, now 44, from Melbourne told FEMAIL she felt a little lightheaded, having 'heartburn' and hot flashes in the hours before her attack

Nicola, now 44, from Melbourne told FEMAIL she felt a little lightheaded, having ‘heartburn’ and hot flashes in the hours before her attack

Busy mum said she knew what happened was an 'emergency' but had no idea she was suffering a catastrophic heart attack

Busy mum said she knew what happened was an 'emergency' but had no idea she was suffering a catastrophic heart attack

Busy mum said she knew what happened was an ’emergency’ but had no idea she was suffering a catastrophic heart attack

“I had just put the little one to sleep and got up feeling very light headed, dizzy,” she said.

“And I had really bad heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest that took my breath away.”

She stumbled across the room where she was struck by a wave of nausea as she called for her husband.

“Then my jaw started to hurt. And my husband called the ambulance.’

The busy mom said she knew what was happening was an “emergency” but had no idea she was suffering a catastrophic heart attack.

Even paramedics missed the signs when they arrived at her home, 20 minutes after her husband first called.

“He said I probably had gastro, but because my son had just had surgery, he would take me to the hospital because we couldn’t get gastro at home,” she said.

1663152990 293 Mum who had a heart attack at 38 and AGAIN

1663152990 293 Mum who had a heart attack at 38 and AGAIN

“He said I probably had gastro, but because my son had just had surgery, he would take me to the hospital because we couldn’t get gastro at home,” she said.

The mother leads an active lifestyle and was shocked when she had a heart attack

The mother leads an active lifestyle and was shocked when she had a heart attack

The mother leads an active lifestyle and was shocked when she had a heart attack

“But I knew it wasn’t, I hadn’t thrown up. I just agreed, yes, take me to the hospital.’

The paramedics checked her vital signs after she got into the ambulance – then Nicola realized for the first time that something was wrong with her heart.

“They did the EKG and I just saw his face,” she said.

Nicola was taken to a hospital emergency room, but when the nurse wanted to take her blood, she was interrupted by the paramedic with her EKG results.

“Suddenly I was taken to the CPR ward where we waited for a cardiologist to arrive.”

She was admitted for emergency surgery and doctors found that 80 percent of Nicola’s right coronary artery was blocked.

Four stents were put in to prevent her from having another attack in the future.

But less than two years later, on the eve of her 40th birthday, she was again rushed to the emergency.

It took her a few years to get back to her usual level of activity

It took her a few years to get back to her usual level of activity

It took her a few years to get back to her usual level of activity

What are common heart attack symptoms?

The most common symptoms of a heart attack are:

Chest pain (angina) – pressure or tightness in the chest and arms that can spread to the jaw, neck, or back

Sudden dizzy, faint, lightheaded, or anxious

Nausea or vomiting

Indigestion or heartburn

Sweating or cold sweat

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Women may experience a variety of symptoms, such as:

Shortness of breath and generally feeling unwell

Tightness or discomfort in the arms

Back pain or pressure

Symptoms of a heart attack differ from person to person. Some people experience no warning signs of a heart attack, while others feel symptoms days or weeks in advance. Nearly 1 in 3 men and nearly 4 in 10 women who have heart attacks feel no chest pain at all. Chest pain may also come and go.

Source: Health directly

This time she had a 95 percent blockage in the same artery and another stent was added.

“The second was classified as a near heart attack because I had it just before,” she said.

Now Nicola is hyperaware of the symptoms of a heart attack and has had to call an ambulance on a number of occasions.

“It’s scary. I remember one time I called the ambulance and watched my kids’ little faces as they took me away,” she said.

“It's scary.  I remember one of the times I called the ambulance, watching the little faces of my children as they took me away,

“It's scary.  I remember one of the times I called the ambulance, watching the little faces of my children as they took me away,

“It’s scary. I remember one of the times I called the ambulance, watching the little faces of my children as they took me away,” she said.

“I would try not to show my family how scared I was — Mom is fine — I’ll be fine — I’ve taught kids how to use the blood pressure machine — and they know if to call an ambulance,” she said. .

Nicola says she sometimes eats out and feels a sharp pain in her chest and needs to figure out if it’s her heart and an emergency or if she’s overreacting.

Looking back, Nicola realizes that she had some other symptoms leading up to the heart attack, including fatigue.

She had also been to the doctor twice leading up to the heart attack after noticing her knees and ankles were swollen.

“I went to the GP because I’m proactive and get things checked as soon as I notice something isn’t right,” she says.

The GP said the swelling was nothing to worry about, it wasn’t her normal doctor so she went for a second opinion two days later and the symptoms were gone again.

Nicola shares her story in hopes that others will recognize the symptoms before it’s too late.

“I remember in the hospital hoping I would survive. I didn’t want to leave my kids and my husband behind,” she said.

Nicola was very active before her heart attack, cycling and walking often and being outdoors with her family at every opportunity.

“I remember praying in the hospital, I'm Catholic but not terribly religious, that I would survive.  I didn't want to leave my kids and my husband,

“I remember praying in the hospital, I'm Catholic but not terribly religious, that I would survive.  I didn't want to leave my kids and my husband,

“I remember praying in the hospital, I’m Catholic but not terribly religious, that I would survive. I didn’t want to leave my kids and my husband,” she said

“I want people to know that it can happen to anyone. I had none of the risk factors. I never smoked, drinking a glass of wine was a rare treat, I was healthy and active,” she said.

“Having a heart attack was not something I expected, I had no family history or risk factors. I felt numb, overwhelmed and in disbelief.’

Nicola’s heart attacks are still a mystery, so she follows the news of heart research in the hope that one day she will get answers to the cause.

She worries about her family history and whether her two boys are in danger. Nicola is also a donor and volunteer of the Heart Foundation, which includes Skipping rope for heart, my marathon and holds a high tea.

Today is Give with Heart DayThe Heart Foundation’s annual 24-hour fundraising event.

With more than 40,000 Australian lives lost to heart disease each year, the Heart Foundation encourages those who can donate to raise more than $1.5 million so vital medical research can continue to reduce the impact of heart disease and do more can keep. families together.

September 14 is Give A Heart Day:

With more than 40,000 Australian lives due to heart disease each year, the Heart Foundation is encouraging the nation to donate to raise more than $1.5 million for essential medical research.

This research will further reduce the impact of heart disease and keep more families together.

In a new survey released on Give with Heart Day – the Heart Foundation’s 24-hour fundraiser – 71% of respondents aged 45 and older say they are concerned about developing heart disease.

Despite this, nearly a third (31%) say they have never spoken to their doctor about their heart health.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents diagnosed with heart disease did not receive regular health checks prior to their diagnosis. Those 45+, or 30 and older if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent should have their heart health checked at least every two years.

More than 8 million Australians are eligible for a heart health check.

Professor Garry Jennings AO, Chief Medical Advisor to the Heart Foundation, said heart disease can often be prevented, so it’s crucial that Australians don’t wait until it’s too late to discuss their heart health with a GP.

“From regular checkups, Australians are getting a better understanding of their risk of heart disease, but most importantly, they are getting the support they need to lower this risk.”

Together with their GP, Professor Jennings AO urged Australians to talk to their loved ones about heart health and lifestyle improvements.

“Sometimes just one conversation can save a life,” he said.

The findings of the study are particularly important as we already know that an estimated one in five Australians have a high absolute risk of future cardiovascular disease.

The latest survey shows that nearly half of those who reported having or developing a risk factor for heart disease say that there have been notable deaths among politicians, sports icons and celebrities (44%), or that a family member/friend scares/kills. heart disease (48%), prompted them to visit their primary care physician to check their heart.

17% of all Medicare subsidized Heart Health Checks – first introduced in 2019 – took place between March and July this year, following Shane Warne’s death from a suspected heart attack.

Many of the risk factors for heart disease are silent, and unfortunately, heart attack symptoms can be the first sign of heart disease.

This is highlighted in the survey where 51% of respondents were diagnosed with heart disease and never returned to their previous life after diagnosis. . At Give with Heart Day this year, we want to raise more than $1.5 million to continue funding life-saving research so we can overcome heart disease together.”

Source: Heart Foundation