“I found out I was having a heart attack…”

“I found out I was having a heart attack…”

“Me? Have a heart attack? No way! I’m only 42 years old. It is just not possible that I’ve had a heart attack.”

These are the thoughts that were flooding my mind as I was being wheeled to the cardiac catheterization lab at our local hospital. I heard my 14 year-old daughter scream as the doctor said the words “heart attack.” We were shocked.

I work all day. I’m active. I walk for exercise. I try to watch what I eat. I do what my doctor tells me to do to stay health…and I still had a heart attack. I don’t have a family history of heart disease, and I really didn’t have any symptoms or signs. I just felt pain and went to the doctor. The doctor performed an EKG which had a normal reading, and he told me that I needed to relax and rest.

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]I went home and the pain got worse, so I went to the emergency room where I found out I was having a heart attack. Not only did I have a heart attack, but one of my arteries was completely blocked. I spent several days in the Intensive Care cardiac unit at the hospital. The doctors placed a stent in the blocked artery to expand and open the vessel. Me, with a stent in my heart…I still can’t believe it.

I missed three weeks from work. The time off from work and the added responsibility of medical bills have caused a financial set-back for my daughter and me. I am a single parent, and I am the only financial support for our household. Just a few days off from work put us behind in our bill payments…and I was off work for three weeks. I didn’t think anyone could help us.

When I returned to work, I went to see my Human Resources Director. She told me to apply for the Hug Fund. I thought the Hug Fund was financial assistance when there was a death in your family, but my Human Resources Director explained that it was for a catastrophic event, and she thought that my heart attack would be considered catastrophic.

I completed the online grant application, and I heard from the Hug Fund staff right away. My grant was awarded. The Hug Fund helped me with my rent and utility bills. I felt so good. I told my co-workers and they were excited for me. Some of them had not contributed to the fund, but after they heard my story, they decided that the Hug Fund is a very good thing, and they wanted to contribute so other employees can be helped. I am really grateful for the Hug Fund.[/text_block]