While touring Zurich, Switzerland with her daughter, 71-year-old Carol Allen became sick. So sick, in fact, she couldn't even keep water down on the flight home.
When she arrived in Tennessee her first stop was the emergency room at Laughlin Memorial Hospital in Greeneville. “[No symptom of any kind, of any kind of heart attack. I just about fell out of the bed when they said I’d had a heart attack,” explains Allen.
Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Jack Whitaker says not all heart attacks come with classic symptoms, “Women present with symptoms that can be uniquely different from men," he said. "The classic picture of a man clutching his chest bent over with the pain may not be the classic presentation with women.”
In patients like Allen doctors use what’s called a stent to maintain blood flow in the coronary artery. It’s very small, but it helps maintain blood flow in the heart.
After the procedure in early June, Allen says she’s back to her normal routine. "I have no stipulations. I’m back to riding my horses and taking care of them and yard work and doing my exercise," she told us.
Doctors say this story is a good reminder about raising awareness of women's heart health.