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Local family sends out 'Heartfelt' message

MOOERS FORKS The fact that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, with stroke coming in at number three, is one the Downs family of Mooers Forks knows all too well.

It was a one year ago yesterday that my husband, Bill, had his heart attack, said Roxanne Downs.

Even though heart disease tends to run in his family, Bill never thought hed be experiencing such problems so early in life.

Sure, his father died in 2000, following several strokes, and his mother had to have stents put in in 1999, and then again a couple years later. But Bill was much younger, so he didnt really feel the need to worry.

That is until it happened to him.

It was a Thursday morning, about 9-9:30, when he began feeling ill.

He was sweating, but thought nothing of it at first because it was very warm outside that day.

Within five minutes I could feel it in my arm and chest, he said.

He tried to call Roxanne at work to tell her he felt he should see a doctor, but he could not reach her.

Then the pain grew more intense and he knew he needed to call for emergency help.

Once he arrived by ambulance to the emergency room at CVPH, and was hooked up to the EKG machine, it was quite evident that Bill was having a heart attack.

By 10:30 Dr. Bradley and his team had performed angioplasty and had Bill in the cath lab and had put two stents in.

And by Sunday I was home again, he said.

So, what it is that the American Heart Association has done for the Downs?

Nothing for us ourselves, replied Roxanne, but it is due to their research projects and education that so many people, like Bill, are able to be saved.

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