In the spirit of Heart Month I am sharing stories of fellow Heart Attack Survivors that I have met through The Under 55 Heart Attack Survivors Group on Facebook. Everyone has a story and I hope you will take a read and help us create awareness of the #1 Killer in North America.
Today Please meet Ondra Eldridge.
Who are you ? Name, current age, where are you from ?
Ondra Eldridge 50 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
How old were you when you experienced your heart attack?
Just turned 50 in Sept 2014
Where were you when it happened? Tell me your story.
In Feb 2014 I had lost my job and after 30 years of working I became really stressed trying to find another job. My last job was also stressful and I couldn’t handle the stress. After losing my job I began looking everywhere and was really hard to find one with my experience and pay. The days before the heart attack I realize now that, I was really tired and having issues with heart burn. I just shook it off and was eating the wrong foods.
On October 8, 2014 I was going over to my best friends to do my hair and spend some time with her. We had just colored my hair and she was cutting hair when I realize I was getting pain in my chest and arms, then my back and jaws starting hurting really bad. I told my friend something wrong and told her to get me some Aspirin. I started not being able to breath and pain was getting worse. My friend’s husband called 911 and luckily the fire station was down the street. She told me they got there within 5 minutes and started working on me.
I don’t remember a whole lot but they tried to put equipment on me to see what was going on but the wires wouldn’t stay on me. EMS showed up and started working on me and told my friend I was having a heart attack. They then put me in ambulance and ran hot to Oklahoma Heart Hospital. I was semi alert until I got to the hospital and then I passed out and don’t remember much after that. I did come to after they put stent in and asked if I was alive. Everyone was looking at me when I finally got to recovery. I felt no more pain by then and was so thankful.
I found out that my triponon count was over 200 and I had to stay in Hospital for 4 days. My doctor told my family that If I didn’t think quick like I did I wouldn’t be here. I found this out after. My LAD was 99.9 blocked and I had Widowmaker Heart Attack. It’ been 4 months since my Heart Attack and I am feeling better every day. Thank goodness for the knowledge of Doctor who said I had a horrible heart attack but easy fix. I am thankful for everyday that I get to see family and friends. Very thankful for my best friend and EMS and firefighter and doctor for saving my life.
What were your signs and symptoms? Did you have any pre existing conditions or family history ?
Heart burn and really tired for three days before. No Family history
How did this affect your life? Physically/ Personally?
I have a harder time getting around like I used to but it gets better every day. I haven’t really absorbed that I had a heart attack and I take one day at a time.
What lifestyle changes have you made ? What are your struggles ?
Eating better and trying to get back to my new normal.
Stents/ Zipper or Defib ? What is your situation?
I have a stent now. Unable to work at this time but ready to work again.
What is most important in your post heart attack life?
Did you do Cardiac Rehab? What has been the hardest part of your recovery ?
I had no insurance for rehab.
What are your new dreams ?
To get healthy again.
What do you wish you could do now that you never tried before but so wish you could? Eg: Skydiving.
I have done a lot in my life. Don’t really have any wishes except to live longer.
Who was there for you?
My best friend.
Did you lose many people after ?
What is the funniest thing someone has said or asked about your heart attack?
Did it hurt…lol.
If you could go back in the past how would you live your life differently?
Yes, I’d take meds better.
What do you want more of in life ?
Health and happiness.
Is this the hardest thing you have ever experienced ?
Losing my job.
What makes you great ?
My positive attitude.
What advice would you give to a healthy person?
Stay healthy and keep it up.