What to Do When Heart Attack Strikes

For Joy Behar – comedienne, television host, author and mother – heart disease is a family affair. Despite having lost both parents to heart disease, Joy’s mother Rose was not prepared when a sudden heart attack struck in her fifties.

Now, Joy and her daughter, Eve, are challenging women who have or are at risk for heart disease to be prepared and better their odds of surviving should a heart attack strike without warning.

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And they caution women, “don’t stop there;” embrace this second chance at life by living a more heart-healthy lifestyle.

Annually, it is estimated, heart attacks alone claim the lives of over 250,000 women. More than half of those who died suddenly from a heart attack experienced no previous symptoms.

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Joy and Eve are partnering with the makers of Bayer Aspirin and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease (a patient-centered organization dedicated to advancing women’s heart health through advocacy, community education and patient support), to alert women that being prepared can help save their lives.

This includes recognizing the subtle warning signs and keeping aspirin on hand to help reduce damage to the heart.

To that end, the Behars, the Bayer Aspirin brand and WomenHeart are offering a special-edition pill tote with a key-ring that makes it easy to always have aspirin on hand.

The aspirin pill tote also comes with a wallet-sized card describing the symptoms of a heart attack and important emergency response tips, including calling 911 without delay.

“I’ve experienced firsthand the devastating impact that heart disease can have on a family when left unchecked, and I’ve learned that, when a heart attack strikes, your first line of defense is having an aspirin on hand to help reduce damage to the heart,” said Joy.

“This is especially important for women, who are less likely than men to survive and are more likely to have a second attack. Being prepared can offer women and their families that second chance to embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle.”

“I value my relationship with my mother, and I also recognize the reality of heart disease in our family. We’ve talked about how shocking it was when her mom had a heart attack at such a young age,” said Eve.

“I’m hopeful that family members will consider the pill tote not only as a gift of love and support, but also as a commitment to being prepared.”

Individuals can obtain a pill tote by visiting IAmProHeart.com and making a $5 donation to WomenHeart. For each donation, Bayer will make a matching donation of $5 to WomenHeart, up to a maximum of $100,000, said Bayer Wednesday, Oct. 6.

These donations will help fund educational programming and outreach that enable women with heart disease to share their experiences, lessons learned and personal stories of courage and survival with other women who have or are at risk for developing heart disease.

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Rakesh Raman