My heart story: I was your typical busy, healthy mom—driving my kids to sports, working as a team volunteer, climbing stairs twice daily. One day, I started feeling not... normal: short of breath, heart palpitations, prickles in the center of my chest. I had these symptoms for about four months. Then a high school friend, 33 years old, died of a heart attack. That made me go see a doctor.
My first experience: Stress tests and echocardiograms showed my heart was fine. My doctor concluded the problem was birth control pills. I went off the pill, but the symptoms didn't stop. I went back to my cardiologist, who told me to take an aspirin a day and come back in three months. I knew something more was wrong.
How I came to the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center: I found the Center through an Internet search and made an appointment with Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz. An MRI and a CT scan showed that my coronary artery was in the process of collapsing. Within a week and a half, I had open-heart surgery to bypass the problem. Because of their ability to recognize this rare condition, doctors at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center saved my life.
How I feel today: I'm grateful just to wake up and see my kids smile. I don't hide my scar—I want people to ask me about my “beauty mark.” If I can educate just one woman and encourage her to get help, I am happy.
Read More Patient Stories