Heart attack support group - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Heart attack support group

Source: Ivanhoe Newswire Source: Ivanhoe Newswire

LA JOLLA, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The American heart association estimates 44 million women are affected by heart disease. More women are understanding how deadly heart disease is and they’re taking action.

Bertha Verde, or “B”, is picking dresses for an American Heart Association “Go Red for Women” fashion show. She’s raising awareness of women’s heart health after having two heart attacks; one of them after an exercise class.

“My arms started to become tingly and numb and pain started to set in and I started to feel pain going up my neck,” Verde shared.

Verde had stents put in a blocked artery, but she didn’t stop with her own recovery. She wanted to help other women survivors find support more easily than she did.

Verde started a support group for women who’ve had heart attacks or are at risk. They meet at Scripps Clinic every month to get and share information. Verde was trained by a coalition called Women Heart.

Verde explained, “For me, helping people kind of helps me cope with what’s going on with me. I want to help people move forward instead of constantly reliving what happened.”

Cardiologist Christina Adams from Scripps Women’s Heart Center says Verde’s support group is a great forum for women to compare experiences and get better educated about heart disease and resources.

Adams said, “It will only encourage better adherence with medication, cardiac rehabilitation. And just overall, we know that people who have support, they have better prognoses.”

“I think it’s really important that women are able to have a conversation and talk to each other and say, 'This is what I had, what did you have?'" Verde said.

Verde and Adams believe these meetings can make a life-saving difference.

Adams says it’s important that women realize their heart attack symptoms are different than those men experience. They can include pain in the jaw, arm, back, or neck, extreme fatigue, dizziness and heartburn. There are 110 support groups like Verde’s in 40 states where you can learn more.

Find one near you at www.womenheart.org.

Contributors to this news report include: Wendi Chioji, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Copyright 2017 Ivanhoe Newswire via WBRC. All rights reserved.

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