During the morning of August 13, 2018, Wendy Canty, our Office Manager came to work like any other day. The night before, she woke up feeling very uncomfortable and found it hard to go back to sleep. She awakened that morning, suffering from nausea and lightheadedness. Thinking it was nothing to worry about, Wendy went to work.
She was only at the office for less than 15 minutes before she broke out in a cold sweat. When she stood up the room began to spin. Her condition deteriorated so much, she had to leave work. On her way home, she was trying to make sense of what was happening.
Wendy’s commute was 20 minutes, and in that time period her symptoms kept getting worse. Once she got home, she barely made it into the house because she was so weak. Everything hit her all at once – dizziness, nausea, sweating, clamminess and extreme fatigue. It was at that time she knew she had to get to the hospital. Instead of calling an ambulance or asking her daughter to drive her, Wendy drove herself because she didn’t want her daughter to worry anymore than she already was.
When they pulled up to the front doors of the emergency room, Wendy slid out of the car and told her daughter to park it anywhere. It took all of her strength to open the door and walk into the ER. She was out of breath but managed to tell one of the staff members, “I think I’m having a heart attack.” All of a sudden, doctors and nurses swarmed around her. Bypassing admission procedures, she was immediately given an EKG. Within minutes, Wendy received confirmation that it was, in fact, a heart attack.
Angioplasty heart catheterization wasn’t an option because there were too many blockages. Wendy was then told she needed quadruple heart bypass surgery right away to save her life. Without delay, she was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Tufts Medical Center where they performed her bypass surgery.
It took the surgeons 4.5 hours to complete the quadruple bypass. As Wendy came out of anesthesia, she told her brother, “Everything hurts, even my hair.” However, she knew she was lucky and grateful to be alive.
After Wendy’s week-long stay in the hospital, she was discharged with limited activity. Visiting nurses came to her house. She was given a walker to use because she was so weak. However, after going through Cardiac Rehab and making lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, Wendy is stronger than ever.
The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain, but Wendy didn’t experience it. Many people don’t know there are different combinations of symptoms that could occur, for example discomfort in the neck, jaw, one or both arms and stomach, shortness of breath without chest pain.
Jet Mail Fights Against Heart Disease, Together
Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.?
After building up her stamina, with an exercise regimen of walking two to three miles per day, Wendy is ready to help fight Heart Disease!
Below is an excerpt from Wendy's letter about why she's walking:
“Every dollar we raise, every step we take, helps fight heart disease, and your contribution makes an impactful difference in doing so. Together we can provide the support and research to make heart disease history!”
“It takes a village to get through such a life changing event and my village will consist of friends, family and co-workers that have been by my side this past year – those who have continued to applaud, encourage and give me the strength needed to fight this battle each day.”