The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 19, 2014

Heart attack survivor shares importance of knowing symptoms

NORMAN — The constant heartburn while pregnant with her daughter was the first sign for Amanda Rowell that something was wrong.

She hadn’t experienced it when pregnant with her son but knew each pregnancy was different. Then came the pain shooting down her arm, along with weakness in her hand.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” Rowell said, “but I didn’t push it.” Being healthy and in her early 30s, a heart attack was the last thing on her mind.

But after having her daughter, Paisley, in January 2012, Rowell’s heartburn didn’t go away. She was told it was probably a gas bubble left over from her emergency C-section. At home after being discharged, things started going downhill.

That evening when getting into bed, Rowell started coughing, her heart began racing, she was dripping with sweat, couldn’t catch her breath and felt like her lungs were filling with fluid. She told her husband to take her to the emergency department. They then loaded the pajama-clad family into the car and drove back to the hospital.

At first, doctors thought Rowell had pneumonia, but they later discovered she had suffered a heart attack.

“A nurse came in and asked me, ‘If needed, do you want to be resuscitated?’ I was 32, had a husband, an 8-year-old son and a newborn daughter. I couldn’t believe I was in this situation,” Rowell said.

Given only a 5 percent chance of living, Rowell said that in medical terms, she shouldn’t have made it. Three weeks after being discharged, she had open heart surgery.

Heart attacks in women rarely look like the typical chest-clutching warning symptoms portrayed in movies. Symptoms of heart attacks in women are often more subtle signs like fatigue, nausea, jaw pain, sweating or weakness.

A recent study found that one in five women under the age 55 does not experience chest pain when she is having a heart attack, according to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014