Tigard woman shares heart disease story for Go Red campaign - KPTV - FOX 12

Tigard woman shares heart disease story for Go Red campaign

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TIGARD, OR (KPTV) -

One in three American women die from heart disease, and although it is the number one killer of women, many don't even know the symptoms.

While some think the disease presents the same symptoms in women as it does in men that is not true. In fact, the symptoms for women can be very vague, such as a minor feeling of fluttering in the chest.

That's what happened to April Frezza of Tigard. When she was just 50 years old, she was finishing up a 22 mile bike ride when she collapsed two blocks from home.

Fortunately, an off-duty deputy saw her and was able to perform hands-only CPR, which saved April’s life, though her ordeal wasn't over. Paramedics had to revive April twice before she got to the hospital.

STORY EXTRA – LEARN MORE ON HANDS-ONLY CPR

April was lucky. Fewer than 10 percent of those who go into sudden cardiac arrest away from a medical facility survive.

Even though April was is great physical shape, it turned out April had a major blockage in her artery, and for the next two months, there was one complication after another.

That was three years ago, and she since fully recovered. 

April learned the hard way that a seemingly minor "flutter" could be a symptom of a potentially deadly problem. She wants to warn other women not to assume that being in good shape will always prevent cardiac issues.

Don't assume just because you are in excellent health it can't happen to you,” April said. “If you feel in any way that something isn't normal pursue it.”

On October 8 April will speak at the American Heart Association's annual Portland Go Red luncheon about women and heart disease. She doesn't want other women to go through what she did, or worse.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

  • Tigard woman shares heart disease story for Go Red campaignMore>>

  • STORY EXTRA: More on Hands-Only CPR

    STORY EXTRA: More on Hands-Only CPR

    Monday, September 21 2015 6:47 PM EDT2015-09-21 22:47:48 GMT
    Hands-only CPR is a life-saving technique supported by the American Heart Association for bystanders to use in case of seeing someone suddenly collapse.More >
    Hands-only CPR is a life-saving technique supported by the American Heart Association for bystanders to use in case of seeing someone suddenly collapse.More >
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