Taking Tragedy to Heart

Local News
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans with roughly 610,000 men and women dying every year.  
 
In recognition of Heart Health Month, KREX 5 anchor Chelsea Helms sat down with her mother, Marye Helms, who shared the story of her husband’s unexpected and sudden death.
 
It was July 29th of 2015 when Marye recalled her husband, Robert Helms, came home from work early with chest pain and heart burn.

“At one point he said I think I might be having a heart attack, and you really don’t think about that in somebody who just turned 48 years old ” said Marye.
 
Because Robert refused to go to the hospital, Marye said she went to the store to get him aspirin, but when she arrived home she found him on the floor.

“You don’t expect to see the person you’ve been married to for 26 years lying on the floor, lifeless” she said with a shocked expression.
 
In a blurred state of mind Marye remembered she conducted chest compressions on Robert before she called 911.
 
Shortly after an ambulance arrived, and Robert was transported to the hospital were he was pronounced dead from a heart attack.
 
“Probably the hardest thing was to call his parents and let them know that their last remaining son wasn’t doing so well, and I couldn’t call my daughters because I was so upset I ended up sending them messages” she said.
 
While Robert’s death was a shock because of how young he was, Marye mentioned there were warning signs from over the years. She recalled Robert struggled with high blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain.
 
Cardiologist Ross Pacini said it’s monitoring symptoms like the ones Robert had–among others–that could mean the difference between life and death. “Smoking unquestionably including marijuana, obesity, diabetes. When you have a certain number of those risk factors it’s important to make sure those things are controlled.”
 
In an effort to ensure no other families have to endure the shock of a sudden loss like Robert’s Marye said she encourages others to be aware of the deadly symptoms. “When you see this in others think about what is going on with them, so that nobody else has to go through this.”
 
For more information on heart disease, click the link provided below.
https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.h

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