Woman says advocating for her heart saved her life

Grateful Heart

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) –  It’s amazing Donna Brummett even thought she was having a heart attack.

An avid runner with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels and no history of heart trouble, she says she’s grateful the problem was caught in time.

“I couldn’t lift my arms. I had pain in both my arms. I had pressure in my chest and back. You just have to listen to your body,” said Donna Brummett

“I started feeling nauseous and some pressure in my chest and my back and just immediately thought I was having a heart attack,” explains Donna.

So Donna’s family catered the dinner while Donna’s mom took her to the hospital.

“It was hard to have to convince people to believe me,” remembers Donna.

Donna says the medical staff kept trying to tell her she had the flu, but Donna knew it was more than that.

“I couldn’t lift my arms. I had pain in both my arms. I had pressure in my chest and back. You just have to listen to your body.”

Thankfully, she pressed the issue, and after a check of her troponin levels, Donna was on a helicopter headed for the hospital where doctors told her she 100 percent blockage in her left anterior descending artery.

It’s also known as the widow-maker because its blockage can result in immediate death.

“I could hear them say let’s just try one more time, let’s see if we can do it and I’m thinking what are they talking about? It was really scary,” remembers Donna.

After several tries, Donna’s heart cath was successful and she avoided open heart surgery.

“Everyday, I wake up, ok phew. I’m alive again. At night you think, am I going to be here tomorrow?” says Donna.

RELATED LINK | Warning Signs of a Heart Attack – American Heart Association

Now, Donna says she pays more attention to her diet. She quit her stressful catering job and has learned to stress less.

“It can happen to anyone. I was 48 years old. I ran three miles the day before. I was the picture of health. I felt great. And boom, it just happened.”

Donna says her best advice for anyone who feels their experiencing any health condition is to listen to your body and if doctors don’t believe you, to really push the issue.


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