Published on September 06, 2017

Diana Shillington Discusses Heart Attack on Panel for American Heart Health

“My coworkers told me I was going to have a heart attack if I didn’t take care of myself, and they were right,” said Diana Shillington. She recently shared her heart attack story through a panel discussion for American Heart Month.

“I was having some pain, but it was really high in my chest. I thought it was indigestion,” Shillington stated. “So I drank a glass of milk and it subsided and then I went to bed. I slept well, no discomfort during the night, but as I dressed for work the next morning, I had stronger chest discomfort and I began to feel nauseated.”

It was then that Shillington knew she needed to get to the Emergency Room. “The doctors told me I had probably had a heart attack the night before. They took me in immediately and started prepping for a heart catheterization.” 

 “When they told me I was going to a heart cath, my first thoughts were of my husband. I was worried that if something happened to me, who would care for him?” Diana’s husband, Lyle, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in August 2015. In may of last year, he underwent an above-knee amputation of his right leg. Currently he is in remission. “I put my care on hold to take care of him,” stated Shillington.

Shillington had stents placed and stayed overnight in the Step-Down Unit at Holzer Gallipolis Medical Center. “Dr. Rayani, Dr. Bradley, and the entire cardiovascular team were wonderful. I couldn’t ask for any better care,” she continued. “Everyone was concerned with how I felt and how I was doing. I had no pain. My husband was so thankful for the care they gave me and how well they kept my family informed.”

Shillington’s advice to all women is “Don’t think twice about going to the Emergency Room. If you feel like something is off, have it checked out. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it’s better to know than to take the chance.”

Shillington and her husband have made changes to their diet in order to improve their health. Each of them have given up fried foods and pop, and cut back on sweets since her heart attack. They reside in Gallipolis and have two kids, Erin and Alan, one grandchild, Brody, with another grandchild soon on the way. 

According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms include: chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath; or other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. Symptoms do vary between men and women. Women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

For over 15 years, the Holzer Cardiovascular Institute has provided the region with the highest level of heart services available. The Holzer Cardiovascular Institute has assembled a staff of the region’s most qualified team of cardiac physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff. Using the most technologically advanced cardiac equipment and procedures, The Holzer Cardiovascular Institute is devoted to delivering  very best cardiac care for our communities. 

Through inpatient and outpatient treatments including medical management, cardiac catheterizations, surgical treatment, we offer diagnostic cardiac catheterizations as well as cardiac angioplasties/stents. Our physicians manage a variety of heart and vascular conditions including: Coronary Artery Disease or hardening of the arteries, Cardiac Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat, Heart Valve Disease, Heart conditions associated with diabetes, Lung diseases, Vein and vascular disease, and Carotid Disease. Holzer Cardiovascular Institute services include: Cardiopulmonary Testing, Cardiac Catheterization, Electrophysiology or Heart Rhythm Management, Cardiothoracic Surgeries, Peripheral Vascular Disease (PAD/PVD), Vein Treatments, Cardio/Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and Pulmonary Services.  For more information, call 1-855-4-HOLZER or visit www.holzer.org.

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