Jennifer Moreen shares her unique Heart Attack story to empower other women

Jennifer Moreen shares her unique Heart Attack story to empower other women

August 17, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


(upbeat piano music) – [Voiceover] And a story with heart on this Valentine’s Day. We’ll introduce you to a woman who suffered a heart attack in her 30s, and hear her message for other women. The Fox Nine Morning
News starts right now. (upbeat piano music) – [Voiceover] The Fox 9
Morning News starts now. – First, though,
Valentine’s Day is smack-dab in the middle of February,
which is also Heart Month. Our Dawn Stevens introduces
us to a local woman who suffered a heart attack in her 30s. Hear what she has to say about other women and heart health, that story, just ahead right here on the Fox 9 Morning News. We’ll be right back. – The American Heart Association is trying to get the word out that women have to pay attention
to their heart health. – Heart disease, as we know, is the number one killer of women, and with their heart
attack symptoms, it can be much different than those for men. So, Dawn Stevens joins us now with a story of a survivor who has an
important message to share with all of us, and I just
meant all of us, really. – Exactly, definitely,
this applies to everybody. So, this morning, we meet a woman who was quite young when she discovered her life-threatening condition. (sad piano music) – [Voiceover] It was
supposed to be another easygoing, fun ski trip. (heart monitor beeps) – And I felt kind of a
pressure in my chest. – [Voiceover] But it
turned into a scary day that changed Jennifer
Moreen’s life forever. – I felt like a big sense of paranoia. (heart monitor beeps) – [Voiceover] In March of 2009, after hitting the Wyoming slopes, the 38-year-old had a
full-blown heart attack. – I just felt as if there was
an elephant inside my body, just crushing my chest. – [Voiceover] She was also hot and felt pain in her shoulder up her neck. (heart monitor beeps) – [Voiceover] From a truck
stop, she drove to a nearby ER with her husband at her side. – It was awful, watching
her in the hospital. – [Voiceover] The doctors
had to give her metal stents to hold together her
dissected heart artery. – The doctor said, “I’ve never
seen arteries like yours. They’re so thin and fragile. – [Voiceover] Jennifer
left the Wyoming hospital, headed back home, and started rehab. One month later, in her bed,
she had a second episode. – I sat up, and I thought, “I think I feel “pressure in my chest, no, it can’t be.” (heart monitor beeps) For some reason, the thought of calling 9-1-1 didn’t really cross our
minds, I don’t know why. – It was a horrible decision. – [Voiceover] She called
her brother, who took her to the ER again. Her heart artery dissected even more, and a fifth stent had to be put in. Jennifer was diagnosed
with the genetic disease Sudden Coronary Artery Dissection. These pictures show frail, bumpy arteries that are supposed to be smooth. They don’t allow her
blood to flow properly. Jennifer soon discovered
it was rare for a person to even survive the disease. – I could not find anything
about women who lived. All I could find was post-mortem studies, and that scared me to no end. – [Voiceover] After the
fear, another emotion: shame. – I took for granted my health, and that I could start exercising later. I was overweight, and so I felt like, “What have I done to myself, “that I allowed this to happen?” – [Voiceover] She also
discovered a pregnancy would have stressed out
her arteries too much. – The chances of me having
lived through a pregnancy earlier, were really unlikely. – [Voiceover] Needing more answers, Jennifer decided to go
to Mayo in Rochester. They scanned her full body, and discovered all her
arteries were bumpy, diagnosing her with
Fibromuscular Dysplasia, or FMD. She soon became part of a Mayo study, and then, one year after
her first heart attack, the unthinkable. (heart monitor beeps) – I felt this pressure in my chest, and again, thought, “It can not be.” (heart monitor beeps) – [Voiceover] A third episode while she was on the phone with a friend. She called 9-1-1, and got a sixth stent to close her further dissected artery. Jennifer had to find a support system, and find people who could
relate to her struggles. She’s now part of the Go
Red for Women Campaign, helping with this year’s luncheon. She’s also on a new billboard, plus, modeled for the
fashion show last year. Nearly four years after her heart attack, and overcoming so much fear and pain, she and her husband have
words of encouragement. – Just try to be supportive. – No matter the reason for
someone’s heart attack, we should not feel ashamed. You know, because nobody deserves it. – Yeah, for sure, well Jennifer
says women should research the different symptoms that
we show during heart problems. If you feel chest
pressure, or indigestion, pain in the neck or the jaw, don’t wait for those feelings to pass. Please, just call 9-1-1. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Twin Cities’ Go Red website. We put a link on our website, just check out myfox9.com. I think, after talking to a
lot of survivors over the years and doing these stories,
the most interesting thing that Jennifer was talking about is the fact that she did feel that shame. Now, she had this disease
she didn’t know about until she had her first heart attack. But she felt shame as
far as being overweight, not eating right, stuff that we all do and she said, “You know what, “forget about that, don’t
let that hold you back. “Just move forward, do what you need to do “to stay as healthy as possible, “and focus on the life
you have in front of you.” So, just trying to share
a positive message, and an uplifting message
as much as possible, because she has a disease that
not that many people survive. – That’s what you were telling me. So, she’s lucky to have made it through, not just the first, but then a third. – Yeah, a third episode, one heart attack, and then two additional
dissections of the heart. She’s very lucky to be a survivor; when she did her research, she couldn’t find anyone
who had survived from it. – Wow. – Most people, when they
discover that someone has this, it’s post-mortem, after
the person’s already dead. – Right. – So, you know, she’s
very fortunate to be here and she’s doing everything she can to help her and her husband eat right, take care of themselves,
they’ve changed their lifestyle. And it doesn’t have to be a bad thing; she said it can be a positive thing. – Sure. – And just new for
them, and going forward, and they’re being positive about it. And that’s the most important thing. – Alright, well thanks for bringing that story to us. – For all of us, too. Thank you. – You’re welcome.