Feb 16, 2023

So blessed to celebrate my beautiful mama! It's been 1 year since she survived a heart attack by the grace of God. And since February is National Heart Month, I wanted to share our mom's story because while the heart attack was a close call, what happened ONE WEEK LATER is how we almost lost our mom.


It was an incredibly scary situation that escalated quickly, but also something that could have been avoided if they have just given us a simple warning. But since the hospital DID NOT tell us this could happen, I want to share in case one of your loved ones is ever in this situation.


My mom was supposed to come over that day, but she kept saying she felt cold/had chills on her arms, and back pain. She mentioned she had a little bit of tightness in her chest, (although no pain) and since my mom never wants to go to the doctor, I called, described her symptoms, and they said to bring her in right away bc she was having symptoms of a heart attack.

Being my mom, she refused to go and said she was fine. Then my brother called and she was coming upstairs with the laundry and had to sit on the steps bc she was having trouble catching her breath. I said that’s it, we’re going to the hospital.

No sooner did we get to the ER, she had grabbed onto the counter to hold herself up and I knew it was really serious. They rushed her in and within a few minutes they had confirmed she was having and/or had already had a heart attack. 

I had always thought when someone had a heart attack they would typically collapse while grasping their chest, but they said women's heart attacks are often very different from men’s, which is why a lot of times they don’t even realize they’re having one. 

Within minutes she was in surgery, they put in a stent and said she should fully recover, and just advised she should make some diet + lifestyle changes. After 2 nights in the hospital, she was free to go. 

I insisted she stay with us for at least a week so I could take care of her while she recovered until she felt 100% to go home….and thank God I did.


My mom seemed great all week, doing better and better with each day. But on Day 7, she kept saying she didn’t feel good and that she was really tired. Later that night when she was getting ready for bed, she said it was uncomfortable to lay down. I asked her if she wanted me to call the dr, but she said she was probably fine.

Around 3am, my husband woke me up and said it sounded like my mom was downstairs. I jumped out of bed and found my mom kneeling on the floor, leaning onto the sofa. She said she couldn’t lay down and was having a hard time breathing, and felt she had to lean forward to breathe.

Of course, out of the blue, we had a bad winter storm that night and the roads were a sheet of ice. So I called 911 and thankfully they got there when they did because things escalated so fast and my mom went from seemingly struggling a little to literally gasping for air by the time they got her to the ER.

It turned out my mom had developed SUDDEN PULMONARY EDEMA which means her lungs were essentially drowning in fluid (that had built up around her heart that was weakened from her heart attack the week before) and she literally couldn't breathe.

Btw…did you know that’s VERY common after a heart attack? Yeah, we didn’t either. (more on that later)

I’ve never seen my mom look so scared in her life. In that night, she really believed she was going to die. THANK GOD they were able to drain the fluid quickly but it was a very scary and traumatic situation THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

When the doctor came in and explained what had happened, she then said “yeah this is unfortunately really common, we see this all the time after someone has a heart attack.”

I said “WHAT??!” 

Because had they simply TOLD us (as I took a million notes, wrote EVERYTHING down, saved + highlighted all of the paperwork from the hospital as in what to do/not do, what to look out for), I would have brought my mom in HOURS EARLIER had I known she was in possible danger of losing her life.

Like if it's so common, why not even mention it??? She even talked to the nurse that day and told them she wasn’t feeling well and still NO mention of it.

I ended up talking with someone recently that asked how my mom was doing. He then told me the same thing happened to his dad after his heart attack, although he was home alone when the pulmonary edema came on suddenly and sadly he didn’t make it.

It’s mind blowing me how many things in life could be AVOIDED with simple COMMUNICATION. So since your doctors might not tell you this can happen, I wanted to share my mom’s story to help spread awareness in case it may help save the life of someone else.

So thankful you're with us today, mom. I love you! XO