Every year more women die from heart disease than any other cause. Years ago heart disease was thought to be a man's disease, but that's no longer true. One in three women in this country will die from heart disease. We talked with a women who wasn't about to let it kill her.
Sonja Carlberg from Sioux Falls has drastically changed what she eats and how she shops for groceries. Now she sticks to a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. She's learned the hard way because she has heart disease.
Sonja says, "It will be 13 years in June since I had by first heart attack. I had one in June, one in July, and one in August."
She remembers the day of her first heart attack like it was yesterday.
Sonja says, "I woke up in the morning with shoulder pain. The day before we had trimmed a small bush in from of the house and I thought man am I out of shape. I went downstairs to take a shower because I thought the warm water on my shoulders would help but by the time I'd gotten to the bottom of the stairs I had to lay down. When I got up I was engulfed in sweat from head to toe and I said we better call 911."
In a three year period Sonja was in the hospital 15 times which included getting several stents and open heart surgery for a quadruple bypass at the Avera Heart Hospital. Sticking to a heart healthy diet is a no brainer for her now, as was calling 911 when she was having her heart attacks.
Sonja says, "Women need to listen to their body. We are all smart enough to know when something is wrong and if it's not chest pain, you may have shoulder pain, jaw pain, pain in the arm you better get in and check it out. Don't wait."
If you walk in to any of the Sioux Falls Sunshine Foods Stores you will see a washer and dryer. It's part of a promotion through the Avera Heart Hospital who has partnered with Karl's TV, Audio, Appliance and Furniture and Sunshine. The goal is to bring attention to women and heart disease and if you are experiencing the warning signs of a heart attack. The laundry can wait. Call 911 and get help. One person will win the red LG set high efficiency washer and dryer donated by Karl's.
Manager of Karl's Tom Johnson says, "It makes sense to do this since women are part of the Karl's family and the most important part of any family. It's a good fit. Besides, who does the laundry? In my house, it's not me."
It's just one more way the Avera Heart Hospital is trying to bring attention to what matters.
Sonja says, "Life is short, if you don't watch or listen to your body life could be a lot shorter."
Sonja listened, got help and is alive today because of it and I for one couldn't be happier about that.
You can register to win the red LG set high efficiency washer and dryer at any of the 4 Sunshine Foods Stores in Sioux Falls through February 21st.