Women and Heart Disease
Ruth Thomas considers herself very blessed to still be around today.
Ruth Thomas says "I didn't realize how much responsibility I was putting on myself trying to do everything."
Ruth was on vacation with her husband four years ago when she started having what seemed like very common symptoms.
Ruth Thomas says "I started having problems with my right leg, he massaged it which is the worst thing you can do after I found out we had a clot."
But while she was in the hospital,Ruth found out she had much more than just a blood clot. Ruth's heart was giving out..
Ruth Thomas says "While I was in the hospital my heart was skipping beats, sometimes pausing as much as seven seconds, they told me I needed a pacemaker."
Heart disease is often thought of as a problem for men, but it's the number one killer of women, that's why events like go red for women are so important to raise awareness and reverse this trend.
When it comes to warning signs, the symptoms for women are different than what they are for men. You should look out for neck and shoulder pain, shortness of breath, being Lightheaded or dizzy, and unusual fatigue.
As a minister and a woman of faith, Ruth says she definitely got a wake-up call from God.
Ruth Thomas says "What I realized was the need to cast my cares and I think as women we don't tend to do that because we think we can do everything"
But now Ruth says she knows better, and she hopes that other women will take notice and pay attention to their heart before it's too late.
Ruth Thomas says "I think you know life is short, nothing is promised, we don't have any guarantees and all honesty I want to live I want to bear fruit and to be of help to other people."
So she's doing that one heartbeat at a time.