Young Soldier Heart Attack Survivor on Road to Recovery

Young Soldier Heart Attack Survivor on Road to Recovery (Image 1)

For some it’s an unsuspecting chest pain, discomfort in your neck or back.
For others.  a numbness in your arm or tingling on your side.
This may have happened to you, but you probably didn’t associate it with symptoms of a heart attack.
At WSAV we are focusing on  the number 1 killer of women in this country heart disease.
“For women death from heart disease occurs 6 times more frequently than breast cancer deaths,” explains Dr. Claude Su of Cardiology Associates.
Dubbed the silent killer, Dr. Su says it is not always detected in women.
“Often times women don’t realize what they’re having is a heart issue. So they may not present to the hospital or emergency room when they should or sometimes physicians may not immediately suspect that it’s a heart problem and so sometimes it’s under diagnosed.”
A recovering Fort Stewart soldier  hopes her experience will encourage women to make the right health choices.
Sharlanda Banks has kept her high blood pressure diagnosis under control for 14 years,
 but while driving cross country last summer this mom of two was caught by surprise.
 “The symptoms that I had was more like a tingling feeling on the right side I just didn’t know what it was.  So I’m using google to find out what are the symptoms of stress heart attack.  I did run across…it said heart attack, but I was like no this is not me I’m too young.”
 She kept driving and ultimately made it to her destination.
 She didn’t know her health was in trouble.
  2 weeks later– sudden chest pain.
“So I went to the ER.  They kept telling me nothing was wrong with me.  And I kept telling them I could feel like a fluttering in my chest.  They was like no go home you’re good,” explains Sharlanda.
 The next day Sharlanda says her symptoms were dismissed again.
On day 3 the Third Infantry Division soldier says the nagging pain grew worse.
“I’m sitting at work and all of sudden it was like a massive pressure in my chest and I couldn’t do nothing but sit there and I just started crying. I looked at my supervisor and he was like come on let’s go. So at the time I sat in my desk to the front door I was having constant attacks back to back to back.”
 When she arrived at the hospital Sharlanda found out what was causing her pain.
“They told me it was high blood pressure and stress.”
 An operation revealed…
“ One of my veins  to my heart was closed.  So they had to go in and put a stent.  So now I have a stent in my heart.”
Happy to be alive, her road to recovery includes a cardio rehab program at Candler Hospital to manage her risk factors through fitness training.
“They mainly have me doing the bike for 15 minutes.  I do a walk for 15 minutes.  Everything is in 15 minute increments.  On the walk on the treadmill I would have to do the different elevations like going up a hill.”
10 months later– motivated by her children to eat healthy and exercise–Sharlanda is taking her recovery seriously.
“How do you feel today?  Today I feel I’m a lot energized, but I still have to take it day for day because I really don’t know when it’s time to go home.”
Sharlanda says her hope is to see her kids graduate. 
To help you reduce your risk of heart disease here’s some advice from Doctor Su.
Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, keep weight under control,  have regular checkups,  and don’t smoke.

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