Carolyn Thomas  is a heart attack survivor and the first Canadian ever accepted to attend the WomenHeart Science & Leadership patient advocacy training at the Mayo Clinic.  Since graduating from her Mayo training in 2008, Carolyn as spoken to thousands of women during her popular presentations.  Carolyn started out by telling us that heart disease kills six times more women each year than breast cancer - in fact, heart disease kills more women annually than all forms of cancer combines.
Carolyn recounted two survivor stories, her own and a women named Nancy in Kamloops.  Both Nancy and Carolyn had similar symptoms including nausea, chest pain and pain down the left arm.  Both visited emergency rooms and were told that it was probably heartburn and see their GP about getting some medications.  Both women had reoccurring conditions but were continually sent home after 5 hours or so in emergency.
Eventually, they were both diagnosed with 95% blocked arteries and had widow maker heart conditions, perhaps the most serious.  They both had surgery to repair the damage occurred.  Cardiologists say it wouldn't happen today.  In fact, Carolyn had these issues 10 years ago, Nancy this spring.
Women are 7 times more likely to be misdiagnosed than men with heart issues.  The statistics are just terrible.  The medical profession indicated that we are 50 years behind in testing/screening for women.  Early warnings are missed in 78% of cases for Atypical Heart.  It is most often looked at as a mans problem.. old fat men on a golf course.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada have just released an annual report which has some excellent information and sets out how this problem needs to be addressed.
Carolyn referred us to her book called A Womans Guide to Living with Heart Disease published by John Hopkins University Press in November.  She also has an award- winning blog called Heart Sisters that has attracted over 13 million views from 190 countries and her work in patient experience has been published internationally, including the British Medical Journal.
Ann Moskow  thanked Carolyn for her great presentation and presented her with a donation of 5 meals for individuals at Our Place.