"Go Red for Women" raises heart awareness - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"Go Red for Women" raises heart awareness

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February 4, 2005

Valdosta - Today, Annie Bass says she feels "Wonderful, just wonderful," said Bass.

But a few months ago, she suffered from serious heart problems. "They told me I had a heart attack and had three bypasses," said Bass.

Annie didn't have a family history of heart disease, and like many women, she didn't really think she was at risk. But heart disease can strike anyone, and its the leading cause of death among women today. "Most women, when you ask them what the number one killer of women is they naturally assume its breast cancer, but heart disease kills one in 2.5 women, breast cancer kills one in 29 women," said Melanie Godwin, American Heart Association Director.

Friday, people all over the country took part in "Go Red for Women" day to raise awareness on heart disease. Officials with the American Heart Association say the goal is for women to start getting cardiac screenings early, something Annie wishes she would've done. "It pays for everybody to get checked, whether you're sick or not," said Annie. And the symptoms aren't always obvious.

Annie didn't have chest pains, shortness of breath, or any of the signs that often point to heart disease. "No pains at all, I just got sick," said Bass.

"Because of the variability of symptoms, ladies should keep this in mind and make their doctor aware if they develop anything unusual," said Doctor Tom Bixler.

Annie has fully recovered from her triple bypass, but she knows she's still at risk. "I just thank God they caught it in time," said Annie.  In time to live a long and healthy life, and share her story in hopes of saving someone else.

posted at 3:05 p.m. by ashley.harper@walb.com