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Myra Forbes – Heart Attack Success Story

Listen to your heart — and your gut

When Myra Forbes called 911, she set Methodist Charlton’s STEMI program in motion

Myra Forbes, heart attack patient success story at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas, TexasYou may have heard that women’s heart attack symptoms can differ from men’s heart attack symptoms. Myra Forbes’ symptoms were so vague, however, that she was shocked to learn she was having a heart attack. She recalls with gratitude the day that DeSoto Fire Rescue and Methodist Charlton Medical Center saved her life.

Something’s not right

“It began as a normal day for me,” Forbes says. “I got up at 4 a.m., a habit I developed while working many years at the post office. I was spending the day babysitting my grandchildren.”

Forbes began to experience symptoms early in the day, but none fit the description of what she thought a heart attack should feel like. She had no chest pain or shortness of breath. Instead, she felt really warm and experienced pressure, like indigestion, in her upper stomach that came and went throughout the day. At one point she fainted and when she awoke, simply lay resting on the floor.

“The cool floor actually felt good,”  she says.

Forbes knew something was wrong and planned to have a medical exam later that day. Meanwhile, she spent the day with her grandchildren, cleaning out her garage and waiting for her husband to come home from work. When he walked in the door, she told him to dial 911. It had been 13 hours since the onset of her symptoms.

Shocking news: heart attack

When DeSoto Fire Rescue arrived, they told her she was having a heart attack.

“I looked around the room to see who they were talking to,” Forbes says. “I thought surely they weren’t talking to me. I was in disbelief.”

Fortunately, the STEMI program at Methodist Charlton allowed the rescue team to perform an electrocardiogram on Forbes in her home and transmit data to the hospital, where they could diagnose her condition and prepare for treatment before she even arrived. (STEMI stands for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction — a total blockage of a coronary artery in the heart.)

These days, Forbes continues to live a full and busy life, spending time with her husband, eight children, and 23 grandchildren. During a ceremony where DeSoto Fire Rescue and Methodist Charlton were recognized by the American Heart Association for the fast heart attack care she received, Forbes said, “I thank God, and I thank all of you. I am happy to be alive.”

From the winter 2012 edition of Shine magazine.

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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