Sheila Batey

Sheila Batey was at work when the pain started. It began in her right shoulder and became pro-gressively worse as the day went on.

“I’m thinking it’s a pinched nerve the whole time,” said the 45-year-old mother of two. “A heart attack never entered my mind.”

But when coworkers called Batey’s husband – a local firefighter – he recognized the symptoms immediately and asked them to take his wife to the Emergency Room at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

And by the time she arrived, Batey’s husband was there waiting.

“Once I got to the emergency room and they took me back to a room, I collapsed. I had 70 percent blockage,” Batey said. 

Doctors were able to treat Batey’s blockages with medication, diet and exercise –but the experience was a wake-up call.

“My grandfather died of a massive heart attack,” Batey said. “I just never thought I would have a heart attack. I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t have any symptoms. It was just the normal stress of raising kids, having a job and getting ready for Christmas.”

Now, Batey exercises more, tries to stress less – and makes sure her entire family is eating better.

“I’m the cook of the house, so whatever I’m eating, they’re eating, too,” Batey said. “They’re going to have to get healthier, too!”