(02/07/14) - It's a fun way to raise awareness about a serious and sometimes deadly disease.
The American Heart Association hopes that 'Wear Red Day' helps start a conversation about the number one killer of women.
It's all smiles at the Flint Township HealthPlus of Michigan office on this 'Wear Red Day' - a major contrast to the day Shelley Wyant gave them all a big scare last year.
"It was May 8 to be exact, and I collapsed here at work," Wyant said.
Shelley had a sudden cardiac arrest.
"I didn't have a heart attack, and I don't have heart disease of any kind. I don't even have high cholesterol, I have no blockages. I have nothing. It's an electrical issue," Wyant said.
Shelley's heart simply stopped.
Thankfully, one man knew what to do to start it again. He did CPR and also used an AED.
"I was certainly in the right place at the right time," Wyant said.
Shelly's episode came with no warning, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Genord says that's not unusual.
"Most women don't have signs or symptoms that we typically see, grabbing your chest or falling to the ground," Genord said.
The American Heart Association says the so-called 'silent killer' - heart disease - is the number one cause of death among women.
"Women are so busy taking care of their loved ones they miss the signs or nuisances of fatigue, shortness of breath, new indigestion. Just things that don't make sense," Genord said.
'Wear Red Day' is a fun way to raise awareness.
"It starts the conversation," Genord said.
Dr. Genord says it's time for women to put themselves first. He says to make an appointment with your primary care physician, know your numbers - like cholesterol and blood pressure - and get active and eat healthy.
For Wyant, the 'conversation' means being prepared.
"You should ask at your children's school. Are there AED's in the buildings? Wherever you go, just be aware where they're at," she said.
Wyant believes 'Wear Red Day' keeps the number of heart-related deaths in women going in the right direction - down.
"I'm so glad I was here when my situation happened because it's certainly what saved my life," she said.
There's another chance to 'Go Red' on Saturday. The American Heart Association is hosting the 'Red Dress Dash' at Genesee Valley Center. Registration starts at 10. The dash is at 11. Make sure to wear red because there will be prizes for the best red dress and the most red. The event is free.
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