Each year, one in three female deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease or stroke, but 80 percent of those deaths could have been prevented through lifestyle changes and the use of proper lifesaving techniques and equipment.
Mercy, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital and the Chickasaw Nation are partnering to host the annual Wear Red for Women luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at Oak Hills Golf and Country Club in Ada. This luncheon will educate women on the signs and symptoms of heart disease, while also raising money to purchase additional automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the community.
The event will feature a heart-healthy lunch, silent auction, cooking demonstration by Oklahoma Heart Hospital Chef Fernando Acuna and presentation about healthy eating by Jamie Howard, a registered dietitian. The silent auction will feature a variety of red purses, including purses from Michael Kors and Kate Spade.
Heart disease in women often presents with more mild symptoms than the classic chest pains and shortness of breath, making it a silent killer. These mild yet serious symptoms may include extreme fatigue, an impending sense of doom and pain on the right side of the body (as opposed to the typical pain on the left side).
Recognizing and treating those symptoms immediately could save lives.
Once a person’s heart stops beating due to cardiac arrest, the American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that a bystander may only have about five minutes to restore circulation in the person through CPR or the use of an AED.
An AED is a computerized medical device that can check an individual’s heart rhythm and administer a shock to restore a normal heart beat. The AED walks the user through the proper steps with voice prompts, lights and text messages.
Last year’s luncheon raised $6,000, which funded five AEDs for Pontotoc County sheriff’s vehicles.
“Our goal with this fundraising luncheon is to educate the public about the hidden dangers of heart disease among women, while raising enough money to ensure AEDs are available in every place where we work, play, pray and learn,” said Lori Wightman, president of Mercy Hospital Ada.
In addition to treating heart disease, Heather Summers, undersecretary of operations for hospitals and clinics at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, said it is also important to learn how to prevent the development of the serious condition.
To prevent heart disease, AHA recommends staying active, managing your weight, making healthy eating choices, quitting smoking and knowing your numbers, which includes cholesterol, body mass index, blood pressure and blood sugar. Speak with your doctor to learn your numbers and determine if you are at risk for developing heart disease.
For more information about the Wear Red for Women luncheon, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (580) 332-2323. The cost is $20 per person. If you cannot attend the luncheon or want to help fund the purchase of AEDs in the community, you can call (580) 421-1403 or mail a check to Mercy Health Foundation, Attn: AED Fund, 430 N. Monte Vista, Ada, OK 74820.