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Mollie Dougherty – Heart Attack Success Story at Methodist Dallas

A grateful heart – Methodist Dallas cardiology patient Mollie Dougherty's story 

From the winter 2011 edition of Shine magazine

Girl bonding: Mollie Dougherty and her
daughter have started exercising together,
which has helped them grow closer. Here,
they take a break for a fun day on the town.

When Valentine's Day is near, hearts abound – in greeting cards, boxes of chocolate, even flower arrangements. But last year, Mollie Dougherty spent this holiday known for hearts recovering from a heart attack.

"The day before, I was just watching a basketball game, and suddenly I started sweating a lot," Dougherty, 49, recalls. "It had snowed, and the heater was on, so I turned it off and went outside to cool off.

"Then I started getting nauseous and thought I'd lie down until I felt better."

But Dougherty changed her mind and made a decision that possibly saved her life: She had her son drive her to a nearby clinic.

"At the clinic, they told me I was having a heart attack," she says. "Immediately, they called an ambulance that rushed me to the emergency department at Methodist Dallas, where they said there was the equipment and staff that I needed for help."

Dougherty was met by Edwin G. Olson, MD, an independently practicing interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Charlton Medical Centers. One artery to her heart was closed and another clogged, so Dr. Olson implanted stents to restore proper function and circulation. Dougherty spent Valentine's week in the Sam & Anne Kesner Heart Center at Methodist Dallas, until she was stabilized and stronger.

Looking out for her heart

Dougherty's mother had died of a heart attack at age 60, and even though Dougherty herself struggled with high cholesterol, the heart attack still took her by surprise. She'd assumed that all the walking she did as a postal worker kept her fit.

After discharge from the hospital, Dougherty completed a program of cardiac rehabilitation at the Folsom Fitness Center at Methodist Dallas, where she worked out and learned healthier eating habits, such as trading frequent fried foods for daily servings of vegetables. Now she knows what fit means: She has lost 40 pounds and no longer feels worn out at the end of her workday.

This Valentine's Day, all the hearts will simply remind Dougherty of the advanced care she received – and to celebrate her own healthier heart. "I'm 100 percent better, and I feel strong," she says.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or any of its affiliated hospitals.

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