Helen’s heart attack story | Heart Foundation NZ

Helen’s heart attack story | Heart Foundation NZ


Hi there, I’m Helen Thompson-Carter a mother of two and married to Terry and a survivor of a heart attack at an early age it’s a great privilege to be able to
share my story and walk you through my heart journey like a lot of young mothers I was incredibly involved in school Lucy was already at school and Jane was five. I went to be bed as normal At midnight bang I woke up with this
amazing sensation in my left arm the pain was really intense It was radiating down my left arm, up my neck and centralised chest pain, I thought I was going to be sick I was cold and clammy and obviously my
reactions in the bed prompted my husband Terry
to wake up He asked if I was alright and very clearly I wasn’t I said call
the ambulance called 111 the ECG showed that the the wrong signs or the right signs
whichever way you choose to look at it before I knew who I was in a ambulance
on my way to Middlemore Hospital with Terry following It was a difficult time in A & E because
being 37 coming up 38 that’s very uncommon for woman to suffer a heart attack and all the
signs were there so there was a very big question as to why a woman in this age group are generally estrogen protected and despite my family history it shouldnt have really have happened um things happened thick and fast and the pain had subsided as a result of the
pain relief that given me but I became
acutely aware that that I was in really big trouble, my
breathing changed. I could see the monitor Being a registered I knew exactly what was happening It was that moment of time where I really felt like I was slipping away. Terry was sitting next to me and I said sit on the bell and obviously the medical staff came
racing in but I was definitely on the way out. I
could see the lights, the whole lot and I thought very carefully about the
seconds that I had and the message that I wanted to give. I needed to tell Terry that I love him which I did and I
still do dearly that was a really difficult moment,
fortunately they stopped the drug They turned the infusion off and then
restarted it and gave it to me very slowly and I made it through the night as long as it was I ended up in coronary care and by all accounts coronary care was cold and calculating the diagnosis came and that was that I had cardiac syndrome X what I wanted most was to get back to the independent strong, directive kind of person that i am and to lose the sickness and I knew you that part of my recovery
was to help Terry and my family could see that i could be well again and live a normal life It didn’t take too long before I was
back on track the heart attack journey has been a
humbling experience it’s highlighted for me the value and the immense importance of people there is a difference between heart disease and other critical illnesses and the one big thing is time with other illnesses you get time to put things in order in
time to say goodbye with heart disease and heart attacks you
don’t always get it time. Life is a gift grab it with both hands and never let it go For me I’m one of the lucky ones and I hope there’s many more lucky ones to come.