Local woman goes red to fight heart disease
An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
Autumn Fitch had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy.
Autumn Fitch says, "I begin to have an array of odd symptoms"
As a new mom with a seven week old, Autumn woke up in the middle of the night and immediately knew something wasn't right.
Fitch says, "I told him I can't breathe, I feel like there's an elephant on my chest, my arm hurts, my jaw hurts, I looked at him and said I think I am in the middle of having a heart attack."
Autumn's husband rushed her to the emergency room.
Fitch says, "It was obvious from the echocardiogram they were definitely seeing something wrong with my heart."
Doctors told Autumn she was at risk for a stroke and her heart was going into failure. She had to have open heart surgery.
Autumn isn't alone.
An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases. About 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
Fitch says, "It is His grace and His faithfulness that has brought me through."
Autumn doesn't take her second chance lightly, which includes getting involved with the Go Red For Women movement to educate and empower women when it comes to the fight against heart disease.
Fitch says, "I would encourage you to get involved because what you are doing is supporting research and their ability for someone like me to continue to live."
Autumn had a strong motivating factor to keep fighting and do everything possible to beat heart disease.
Fitch says, "Now everyday I get up happier and more joyful not that we don't go through things but it is a different perspective to know that life is so fragile and can be taken at any moment."
It's important to remember, the symptoms of heart attack can be different in women than men such as pain in the arms, back, neck, or jaw.
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