Latina shares ‘Heart Scare Story’ at ‘Go
Red Por Tu Corazón’
By La Prensa Staff
Suzie Hernández-Mendoza suffered the scare of a lifetime at the age of 34—two heart
attacks in the same year. What sounds like an unusual series of
events, however, is more commonplace than what most women may
think. In fact, one in three women die of heart disease.
Ms. Hernández-Mendoza shared her story at the annual Go Red
for Women luncheon to benefit the American Heart
Association. The luncheon was held Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 at
the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Toledo. Ashley Sheehan
was the Luncheon Chair and Melissa Andrews of WTOL was
Emcee; the event included panel discussion—Dr. Kamala
Tamirisa, Mo Sheahan, and Amber Bupp.
The long-time staff member at the Northwest Ohio Area Office
on Aging had the unthinkable happen 25 years ago—waking up
in the middle of the night with the symptoms of a heart attack.
After feeling light-headed, she went to bed, only to wake up
suddenly at 2 a.m. with chest pains. Ms. Hernández-Mendoza only
recalls seeing blackness,
hear her husband scared and on the phone with 911,
for dispatchers how she had been thrashing in bed.
“It felt like someone dropped a ton of bricks on my chest.
Couldn’t breathe,” she recalled in a video about her first heart
attack. Doctors later told her it was a mild episode that would
soon repeat itself.
Two days later, Ms. Hernández-Mendoza suffered a second heart
attack in her kitchen while home alone with her youngest son.
The then-four-year old boy had just learned how to call 911.
Lucky for her, the little boy remembered what to do, saving her
This time, she had felt intense squeezing in her chest.
With no risk factors or family history, and all normal and clear
tests after that, doctors attributed both heart attacks to
has been healthy since and now volunteers as a God Red for
Women ambassador, encouraging others to maintain their heart
health so they'll be around a long lifetime to enjoy their
"Together, we can save the lives of the women we love," she told
the luncheon crowd. "For the women, like me, who survived heart
attacks. For the young girl who just went into cardiac arrest at
her high school basketball game from a heart condition she
didn’t know about. For the mother who was just told her heart
may not be strong enough for her pregnancy. For the empty
seat at the dinner table where our mothers, grandmothers, aunts
and mentors should have been sitting, watching life’s most
precious moments beside us."