Diane Ryland of Effie remembers the date. It was April 15, 2010. She had gone to bed at 10 p.m., but woke up with a strange feeling in her chest.
“I couldn’t go back to sleep,” Ryland said. “One hour later, I started feeling more pressure in my chest.”
Not long after that, Ryland broke out in a cold sweat, started vomiting and began having pain in both arms. At that point, Ryland asked her son to drive her to the Emergency Room at Rapides Regional Medical Center.
Once there, the doctor told Ryland she was in the middle of a massive heart attack. She had a 100 percent blockage, a blockage that only one out of 10 people would survive.
But Ryland did survive – and is a regular at Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehab program. She’s also no longer a smoker.
“April 15 was the day of my last cigarette,” Ryland said. “I just don’t have a desire for it any more. I feel great. It was a bad thing to have happen, but a lot of good things have come out of it. I quit smoking. I exercise now – which is something I haven’t done in years. But most of all, I pay attention to my body and remind my friends and family to take care of themselves and get their checkups.”