Allow your negatives to be positives
We were very poor growing up. As a child, I thought that I wanted to be a writer and business owner. But, I didn’t know any.
When I was 34 years old and nine months pregnant, I had a massive heart attack.
That heart attack led me to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. I didn’t think that a heart attack would lead me to my dream. Now I am a contributing writer on websites for women’s heart health. I write for Healthline.com and everydayhealth.com. I have been quoted in various magazines like Time and New You. I’ve appeared on many national show such as Dr. Oz twice, The Chew and CBS World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
When I had my heart attack I was in perfect health and pregnant with my fifth child. A spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a rare emergency condition when a tear forms in one of the heart’s blood vessels. It’s not uncommon for it to happen during pregnancy.
When did you decide to finally live your dream?
I had to live my dream because I got stuck at a rut. Married with five children, my day consisted of getting the children ready, taking them to daycare, cooking dinner and going to bed. There was no time to dream.
There were concerns because I was so adamant to get somebody to hear me. I constantly emailed and texted magazine publishers. A few of my friends told me to relax, because I was not getting responses. Then I met Linda Childers. She launched my career. Linda provided different avenues to get my version of the story published. It’s been phenomenal after that. It just took one person to believe in me.
Were there obstacles you had to overcome?
I got through the obstacles using the same inner strength that I found when the doctors told me I wasn’t going to live. I had a certain feeling that was strong. The doctors slowly explained what had to happen—that I wasn’t strong enough to live and carry the baby. I knew then that my calling was to write my story and touch other people’s lives. If they are faced with obstacles they have to find the strength to survive it. The reason I survived the heart attack was to write my story.
How did you feel when you finally accomplished your dream?
Finally accomplishing my dream is surreal…it really is. I am not supposed to be here. It is unheard of for someone who experienced what I did to survive. Now that my story is being told, women can tell their doctors they are having pains and the doctors can do a blood test. I had the elephant on my chest, but not all women do.
What advice would you give to others?
Allow your negatives to be positives and those positives to be reasons why you fulfill your dreams.
Every time the ‘Why me?’ pops in my head, I say, ‘Why not me?’ I had a heart attack. If I had not, the doctors would not now be looking so closely at why this happens to women. Now hundreds of women are getting the care that they need quickly. Now I have a story to tell.
It [heart attack] didn’t happen in vain. We want a reason for why we have to go through trials. If we can make our trials mean something, it gives us a purpose in life. That’s all that any of us wants.
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