FAYETTEVILLE –A FirstHealth employee with her own story of survivorship has volunteered to represent heart survivors from FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center in the upcoming American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red for Women fashion show.
Meg Craven, who works in FirstHealth Corporate Communications, had a catheter ablation for tachycardia in January 2012. The procedure was performed by electrophysiologist Dr. Rodrigo Bolanos, a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical impulses of the heart.
The Go Red for Women Fashion Show will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Macy’s in Fayetteville, to highlight heart disease as the number one killer of women. Admission is by a Red Dress pin, which can be purchased for $5 in advance or $10 at the door.
Craven says she volunteered for the fashion show, because she wants the public to know that heart disease is not just a problem for men and that there are many treatment options.
“My procedure was so simple, and had no side effects,” she says. “I was well taken care of at Reid Heart Center. Dr. Bolanos showed me (a model of) the heart and where he zapped the bad spot. And he cured me. Now I don’t ever feel like I am going to have another episode.”
Craven’s outpatient procedure lasted less than an hour, and she returned to work the following day.
Tachycardia is an abnormally rapid heart beat. While a normal heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, a heart will beat between 120 to 300 times per minute during a tachycardia episode. The rapid heart rate interferes with the heart’s ability to pump blood to the brain and the rest of the body.
Symptoms of tachycardia include dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pain. Although the condition occurs in men as well as women, it is more common in women.
Go Red for Women is the AHA’s national call to increase awareness while empowering women to take charge of their heart health. The AHA began the campaign in 2004 after noting that almost 500,000 women were dying of undiagnosed heart disease each year.
The movement challenges women to understand their risk for heart disease and to take action to reduce their personal risk. Since the beginning of the campaign, there has been a 21 percent decline in the number of deaths attributed to heart disease and a 23 percent increase in awareness that cardiovascular disease is women’s No. 1 health threat.
Funds generated by Go Red for Women allow the AHA to help women by offering education programs, increasing understanding about the risk for heart disease and supporting research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health.
Women can reduce their risk of a heart attack and heart disease by positive changes toward living a heart healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet, regular exercise and an annual checkup to understand your personal risk for heart disease.
For more information on the Go Red for Women campaign, visit www.goredforwomen-fayettevillenc.org or the Go Red for Women Fayetteville NC events page. If you are interested in attending the fashion show, call (910) 364-9054 or Meg Craven, toll-free, at (800) 213-3284.