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A survivor’s message to stay heart healthy for the holidays

Heart attacks are responsible for more deaths during holidays than any other time of year, according to American Heart Association
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:34 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Heart attacks kill more people between Christmas and New Year’s Day than any other time of the year, according to the American Heart Association. There are some things that can be done to help prevent them.

Around the holiday season in 2017, Robin Morgan had a heart attack.

“I started having pains in my forearms, it felt like someone was twisting something in my arm,” she said.

She was also having flu-like symptoms, common symptoms for heart attack in women. So was her lifestyle as a smoker and a full-time real estate agent, admittingly stretching herself too thin.

“My life was crazy, working about 70 hours a week,” she said. “Playing hard too, probably not paying as much attention to my health as I should have been.”

The Farragut mother of two and grandmother went straight to the emergency room when the symptoms started.

“What a mortality check, it hits you and you’re like, ‘what are you doing?’”

The American Heart Association reported heart attacks during the holiday season are more common than any other time of the year, and has killed more people between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“The holidays can be a stressful time for so many of us, and often we get thrown off of our normal routines we eat and drink more than we should and we exercise less. It’s important that we listen to our bodies and any warning signs that they’re trying to tell us and not put those things off until after the new year,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, and volunteer president of the American Heart Association.

The AHA has suggested knowing the symptoms of heart attack, minimize stress and watch how food and drink consumption and call for help right away if something feels wrong.

“I started recognizing self care is so important, we are everything to everybody but we have to be something to ourselves too,” said Morgan.

For Robin, it’s managing stress, changing habits and saying no to other things when it means saying yes to her health.

“I have not looked back, I can’t and I’m not going to,” said Morgan.

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