Lynn’s Story: Blindsided By Heart Disease

After years of trying to eat right and follow exercise programs, Lynn Matson was blindsided when a heart attack struck last fall.

The day before the attack, she’d ridden her bicycle 11 miles without difficulty, and the morning of the attack she participated in an aerobics class. After running errands, she arrived home and soon began experiencing a tightness in her rib cage area. She said it felt like a tourniquet being pulled tight.

A trip to the Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) emergency room with husband, Rick, showed her blood pressure at 200/95 and an EKG indicating she was in trouble.

Lynn was taken by CareFlight to the Dayton Heart and Vascular Hospital at Good Samaritan Hospital (closed in 2018), where she received a heart catheterization with two stents to correct one blocked artery.

“I have exercised regularly for at least 30 years and I’ve tried to provide heart-healthy meals since my husband’s heart bypass surgery 15 years ago,” she said. “Given the fact that none of my grandparents or parents and neither of my siblings have had heart attacks, I was blindsided by mine.”

She said she was blessed with the timing of her heart event and the care she received. “When you are in a region where you have a community hospital, it is wonderful to know if you are in a big emergency that needs major attention that you are going to get it,” Lynn said.

Rebuilding Strength and Endurance with Rehab at UVMC

After the catheterization, she began participating in the cardiac rehabilitation program at UVMC. “I have really needed the security of the heart rehab Phase Two program to monitor my exercise sessions as I’ve rebuilt strength and endurance,” Lynn said.

She feels she has recovered completely. “I value the guidance and encouragement provided by the dedicated and upbeat staff in the cardiac rehab department,” she said.

Looking back to before her heart attack, Lynn said she experienced indigestion-like symptoms lasting only a couple of minutes over a period of about two weeks. She wondered if she had digestive issues, but never suspected a heart attack.

“I would encourage anyone finding themselves wondering if they are having a heart attack to get help without hesitation,” Lynn said. “Women’s symptoms can be so varied that we really don’t ever want to hesitate to get checked out, thus hurting our chances of recovery.

“It is better to risk the chance of sounding a false alarm than to risk your recovery potential. The early intervention I received made all the difference in my chance of a complete recovery.”

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Every moment of your life depends on a strong, healthy heart. The Premier Health cardiology and vascular services team is here to help you, each beat of the way, with prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation services in our hospitals, outpatient centers, and medical offices across Southwest Ohio.