Heart attacks and other cardiovascular health problems are typically associated with those who are advanced in age and not so much with people still in their 30s. Nevertheless, a 39-year-old mother from New Jersey named Jennifer Andrews had a rude awakening after nearly losing her life to a heart attack. Now she is telling her story in hopes of helping others and spreading awareness about warning signs, according to Today.
Andrews was driving on the highway when her heart attack hit, causing her to careen off the road. A stranger got her heart to start beating again until she could be rushed to the hospital, where she spent four days clinging to life. Doctors eventually told her that one of her arteries was almost entirely clogged.
Andrews was shocked. She had gone to the doctor only weeks before and was told that her blood work and heart rate appeared fine. In addition, she lived a relatively healthy life with low stress and regular exercise. She recalled how incredulous she was upon waking up in the hospital.
“It literally came out of nowhere. It’s extremely scary. I feel like this is something that happens to 80-year-old men. I didn’t believe them. If it wasn’t for me waking up in the hospital with the tubes in my arm and the oxygen in my nose — and I could tell I had been intubated because my throat was hurting — I would have never believed it.”
It wasn’t until Andrews took a look at her family’s medical history and some of her lifestyle choices that she realized there were a lot of factors that set her up for the heart attack she never expected. Though she was far younger than the age in which heart attacks typically occur, she was overweight and smoked cigarettes regularly. In addition, her own father had passed away from heart problems when he was only in his 50s.
Despite all of these factors, Andrews still believed that she was too young for a heart attack. Now she knows that no one is immune from heart problems just because of their age. She also knows a healthy lifestyle should begin when one is young, not when a person is older and the risks increase.
“It was very eye-opening,” Andrews said of the experience, expressing her gratitude to all those that saved her life.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, recent data shows that there has been an increase in heart attacks in younger people, particularly in young women.