YHF: Heart attack survivor speaks out

Local News

BISMARCK — With less than 24 hours until the Bismarck-Mandan Go Red for Women event, KX News spoke with a heart attack survivor.

July 31, 2015, was a picture-perfect night full of fun for Sheila Long and her husband.

“We had a birthday party for a friend, we were out and we had dinner and a few drinks at a local restaurant,” said Long, survivor.

But that fun only lasted a few hours. The next morning firefighters and first responders were rushing to her home for something she never thought could happen to her so early in life.

It was Aug. 1, 2015, when Long had a heart attack at just 48 years old due to a blocked artery.

“I went to open the blinds and I couldn’t really see right and was dizzy and nauseous. My hands and feet started to curl in,” said Long.

But she wasn’t the first in her family.

“My grandparents passed away in their 60s and then I had aunts and uncles. But my father passed away at 50,” said Long.

Long would be one of the approximately 735,000 Americans the CDC says suffer from a heart attack year. Doctors decided the best plan going forward for Long was a stent.

“I woke up a new person. On Monday, I went home and had more energy. I could breath better and could mow the grass,” said Long.

Fast forward to today, Long teaches exercise classes and is on the committee of Bismarck-Mandan Go Red for Women event. And she is doing her part to be around to see her family and friends for many years to come.

Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, Long said to pay attention to signs and symptoms, know your numbers, learn CPR and know your genetics because it can happen to anyone.

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