Manning resident offers heart advice to women

by | February 6, 2019 11:00 am

Last Updated: February 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

By Carrie Anna Strange

Shirley Simon of Manning knew something was wrong that morning. Simon was experiencing intense chest pain and shortness of breath as she arrived at the nursing home where she serves as the administrator.

During past chest pain episodes, Simon would rest for a few minutes until the pain subsided, but this time was different.

“The trip down the hall to my office felt like it was getting further away as opposed to me getting closer to it,” said Simon. “I dropped everything on the floor and immediately called 911.”

Simon was able to get the attention of one of the nurses and explained the situation to her. Her staff immediately sprang into action assisting Simon until the ambulance arrived.

Simon was transported to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, where she underwent a heart catheterization. The physician determined she had Coronary Artery Disease which required open heart surgery. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Cary Huber repaired Simon’s coronary blockages.

Coronary Artery Disease occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked because of Atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits and plaque on the inner walls of the arteries, resulting in restricted blood flow to the heart. The most common symptom of Coronary Artery Disease is angina or chest pain.

“I experienced significant warning signs, which I ignored and dismissed as anxiety,” said Simon. “I had swelling on the left side of my body, nausea and chest pain.”

After Simon recovered from her surgery, she completed Cardiac Rehabilitation at McLeod Health Clarendon. Participation in the program help rebuild her strength and got her on track to a healthy lifestyle.

According to Dr. Dennis Lang, a cardiologist with McLeod Cardiology Associates in Sumter, cardiovascular disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, but 80 percent of cardiac events in women could possibly be prevented. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking are important preventative measures that can be taken.

“Everyone should see a physician regularly to evaluate their risk factors for heart disease,” said Lang. “These risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking or having a family history of heart disease.”

Simon can’t stress strongly enough the importance of women to pay attention to their health and not take anything for granted.

“If you’re having chest pain, numbness, nausea or vomiting, tingling in your arm or shortness of breath, these are all classic warning signs that something is wrong,” said Simon. “Don’t wait until it’s too late to see your physician.”

Simon says she now knows the importance of exercising at least 30 minutes daily, and she eats a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet and monitors her cholesterol closely.

The physicians of McLeod Cardiology Associates can help you evaluate your risk factors for heart disease. Cardiologists Dr. Ryan Garbalosa and Dr. Dennis Lang and Electrophysiologist Dr. Prabal Guha care for patients on the campus of McLeod Health Clarendon as well as at their Sumter office located at 540 Physicians Lane. Appointments can be made in advance by calling (803) 883-5171.

McLeod Health currently operates seven hospitals, including McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, McLeod Health Cheraw, McLeod Health Clarendon, McLeod Health Darlington, McLeod Health Dillon, McLeod Health Loris and McLeod Health Seacoast (North Myrtle Beach). Additionally, construction of an outpatient medical complex is underway in Carolina Forest as an expansion of McLeod Health Seacoast. McLeod also operates Urgent Care Centers in Florence and Darlington, along with approximately 90 medical practices throughout the 15-county region McLeod Health services from the Midlands to the Coast.

For more information on McLeod Health, visit their website at www.mcleodhealth.org.

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