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Heather's Healthy Habits: Heart Health

A Central Texas woman tells her story to save as many lives as possible
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Posted at 4:06 PM, Feb 09, 2024

TEMPLE, Texas — February is American Heart Month, and a Central Texas woman shares her story that has changed her life forever. Her cautionary tale could save yours.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

“I thought I was doing everything to prevent this, and it still happened,” said Baylor Scott and White patient Lisa Rooks.

The saying it can happen to anyone rings true for pre-school teacher Lisa Rooks.

“Three weeks ago, I was at school we just released the kids, and I felt a pain in my arm, and it was real weird, I said “I hope I’m not getting sick,” because it was real achy. And next came the tightness in the chest, severe tightness, and then my throat started getting really, really tight,” said Rooks.

She went to an Urgent Care and they found nothing wrong. They told Lisa it was just a panic attack. But the pain persisted and Lisa headed to the E-R. After a couple of scans, she found out what the problem was.

“It’s a heart attack caused by SCAD, and that’s spontaneous coronary artery dissection, which is a tear in the artery, the inner-wall,” said Rooks.

“It happens primarily in women, it’s associated with other connective tissue diseases, so people can have other areas of the vascular affected, we want to make sure we look at that,” added Dr. Jay Widmer, Cath Lab Director for Baylor Scott & White.

The artery tears do heal on their own, but Lisa is on the path to recovery. She going to exercise rehab weekly, taking proper medication, and not taking any day for granted.

“If you have that chest pain or the left arm pain, any of that, and you go in and they say it’s a panic attack, and you’re still having it, trust your body and go back,” concluded Rooks.