Grateful Heart

Dad's near heart attack motivates daughter to be top fundraiser

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - It's not always the patient leading the charge to fight heart disease and stroke.  

Sometimes the patient inspires someone else to make a difference.

McPherson third grader Rachel Fischer was this year's top fundraiser in her school's Jump Rope for Heart. 

Being the top fundraiser wasn't her goal, she says she just wanted to raise a lot of money.

"Hi, my name's Rachel. I'm a third grader at Lincoln Elementary School. My school is participating in Jump Rope for Heart where I am learning to keep my heart healthy," says Rachel Fisher. 

This is what Rachel told neighbors as she went door to door.

"Any amount counts," she says.

She raised money for Jump Rope for Heart and ended up raising $2,048.

"I've just known a lot of people with heart problems, and it was my motivation," explains Rachel.

Four years ago, when Rachel was just five, she woke up in the middle of the night and heard her parents talking.

"I asked what was wrong, then mom said that dad was having chest pains," remembers Rachel. "She went to the bathroom, I sat down and talked with dad. He said he didn't want to go to the hospital. Then, I went in and told mom that he wanted to go to the hospital." 

Outwitted by his 5-year-old daughter, Rachel's dad would later learn he had an 80 percent blockage in the main artery down the front of his heart.  

It's often known as the widow maker. 

"When I found out that my dad could have died, I was like ok," says Rachel.

Rachel's quick thinking helped her dad avoid a massive, likely-deadly, heart attack.  

That, she says, is her motivation to make sure others don't experience what her family did.

"It never really occurred to me that the heart could have a really big problem before my dad, so yeah, I've been a little more conscious," assures Rachel.


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