Serious as a Heart Attack…

My youngest uncle had a heart attack on Friday.

He is 57. Active. Has never smoked. But he had a heart attack on Friday.

When his brother, my uncle John*, died two years ago, we were all very quick to blame lifestyle.

John was obese. John had a terrible diet. John had spent a long chunk of his life doing some very hard drugs.

We mourned him and gave no more thought to how his genes are our genes.  We should have been more cautious.

My uncle had no symptoms except exhaustion and heartburn. He was driving three hours to meet with a client and just had a sudden urge to lay down. He thought about getting a hotel room to take a quick nap before his appointment. If he had done that, he would have died.

But he didn’t. He called the nearest relative (my mom) and had her take him to the ER. Once there, they discovered a 100% blockage in one artery and 80% in the other. They put in a stint and saved his life.

Since Friday, in between my green beers and festivities, I’ve been researching. And, even though I’m only 31, I’ll be giving my doctor a call Monday morning to make sure heart disease is on the radar.

Infographic of Heart Disease Statistics from CDC


  1. American Heart Association ” Heart Attack Symptoms in Women.”
  2. Allen, Karma and Maia Davis. “Hurricanes Harvey and Irma may have caused up to $200 billion in damage, comparable to Katrina.”
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heart Disease Fact Sheet.”
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2016 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released December, 2017. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at on Mar 18, 2018 11:46:00 AM
  5. Macmillan, Amanda. “Never Ignore these 11 Heart Symptoms” WebMD.

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