Women Heart Attacks


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Heart Disease isn't something we normally associate with women breast cancer, yes heart attacks, no. But they kill almost exactly the same number of women as men in Australia.

“I think because I'm 47 and I don't consider myself to be totally over weight I would never have thought that I would have been a suspect for a heart attack," Said Vivian.

Heart Disease is the number one killer of Australian women it's an alarming statistic but even more alarming is most women aren't aware they're even at risk. Women like mother of 3, Vivian Sorbello.

"I know that I should have called triple 0, I just kept sort of thinking of you're ok you're ok," Said Vivian.

Vivian had no warning signs of how close she would come to dying not once, but twice.

"I got up went for a swim everything was fine and I did this lap of breaststroke and I thought that's not good it just sort of felt a bit it just sort of felt a bit cold in my chest and a bit tight," Said Vivian

The tightness was the start of Vivian's heart attack, but still the alarm bells weren't ringing.

"By that stage my hands were just aching like throbbing and to look at them they were just white as anything," Said Vivian.

Incredibly she drove herself to a medical centre, where the doctor took one look and called an ambulance.

"When you go into cardiac arrest you're dying and it happened twice in the ambulance. I just remember they were yelling at me sort of like open your eyes Vivian look at me Vivian and I remember sort of opening my eyes and oh that's right I'm in the ambulance." I can remember vaguely seeing my body in the water sinking and whatever it was out there I don't know what it was but I was getting screamed at to go back, go back, go back," Said Vivian.

Renee Christie is 39 and a mum of two very active young boys. Two boys who almost lost their mother in December last year.

"I can remember little moments for example just before putting our bags down on the beach and the car park but that's all I can remember of that day everything else disappeared a big blank," Said Renee.

After an afternoon swim at her local beach Renee suffered a massive heart attack, she had 3 cardiac arrests, and only survived because of husband Andrew.

"When we realised that the heart wasn't beating she definitely wasn't breathing because it's like a clear indicator when your face goes blue we thought we've got to do something so we just jumped into CPR," said Andrew.

Renee woke from her coma 3 days later.
"It was very, very touch and go actually there's a term used for the kind of heart attack she had and it's called the widow maker because technically most people don't actually survive from it so whatever reason the planets aligned and she is still here," says Dr Allan.

Dr Roger Allan is a cardiologist at Prince of Wales Hospital…
"I've probably done about 5 in 5 years where I've defibrillated someone and had them return,” Said Dr Allan.

“That’s 5 in 5 years?” Asked Adene.

“With cardiac arrest, yes,” Said Dr Allan.

“So Vivian is very lucky?” Said Adene.

“She’s very lucky, yes she’s lucky,” Said Dr Allan.