MURRAY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Each year, heart disease claims the lives of more women than breast cancer and lung cancer combined. On this Go Red for Women Day, ABC4 shares the story of one survivor and her message to women: listen carefully to your body.
When Jackelin Mercado was only 19, she came down with what she thought was the flu.
But it wasn't just the simple flu, Mercado said, "I was dying."
It wasn't just the flu, instead her heart was failing.
Mercado said, "I had to have a heart transplant right away."
Mercado had a new heart, within 24 hours.
She was lucky, but unfortunately that isn't always the case for women with heart disease.
Dr. Deborah Budge from Intermountain Medical Center, told ABC4 News, "Heart Disease and Stroke are the number one cause of death in women."
Mercado's story ended well. She turned that experience spending so much time at the hospital, into a career at the hospital.
Mercado said, "It looked so familiar to me, it looked like something I could do."
Friday, this survivor, joined her now co-workers at Intermountain Medical Center to celebrate Heart Health Awareness.
For Women, like Mercado, it is sometimes hard to notice a problem until it is too late.
Dr. Budge said, "Women often present in different more subtle ways. Like I just can't do the things I'm used to. I'm short of breath or I get more tired more easily."
The warning signs can be faint, but as Mercado learned they must not be ignored.
Mercado said, "Pay attention to every detail."
You can learn more about your heart and get it checked for free as part of the 2013 Community Healthy Heart Fair at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray on Saturday, February 9.