Local woman has ‘wake-up call’ after heart attack

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Heart attack survivor Robin Brickey kept thinking she had “tomorrow,” but her wake-up call came sooner than expected.

In 2010, she suffered a heart attack. She admits that before then, she didn’t have the healthiest habits.

"I was overweight. I did smoke. I was pre-diabetic. I was supposed to go see a cardiologist and I didn't do it. It was too expensive. I could not afford it,” Brickey said.

After a day at work, she didn’t feel well and thought she just needed to rest.

"I laid down about 7:30 p.m. and I laid in my bed until about 9:30 p.m. with pressure on my chest not knowing what it was. It wasn't pain it was just pressure,” she said.

Despite not showing obvious signs, a trip to the hospital determined that Brickey had a heart attack.

"It may not be the classic Fred Sanford, feeling the severe squeezing.  It may be bad indigestion that doesn't go away after antacids,” Dr. David Bohle, interventional cardiologist at Novant Health, said.

Bohle says women should not only remain mindful of classic symptoms such as chest tightness, pressure, and heaviness, but there are other symptoms that can be warning signs too.

“The symptoms that tend to be a little more pervasive for women are shortness of breath, indigestion, or a significant increase in fatigue or lack of energy,” Bohle said.

Brickey has since changed her eating habits and runs an average of six miles per day. She has participated in five half marathons and plans to run in the Dopey Challenge at Disney in 2017.

"I had a second chance. I literally sat in a chair every day after work, feeding myself, killing myself  with cigarettes and food thinking I had tomorrow, and God finally said, no you don't. This is it. You got to make a choice."