KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Meghan Cole had a heart attack at the age of 32. The Knoxville native had no history of heart trouble. She lives a healthy lifestyle.
Now, Meghan has a message for all women: Don’t ignore the warning signs.
If there’s a race, Meghan is probably in it. It was during a run with her best friend that Meghan knew something was wrong.
“All of a sudden,” Meghan remembers, “my chest started hurting and I thought, ‘Well, that’s a little bit funny, maybe it’s just a cramp. I really think I need to walk. I don’t feel very well.’ And I just felt like a lot of pressure on my chest all of a sudden.
“I went home, I sat down, and thought, ‘This is not getting any better.’ I laid down and it went into my shoulder, in my back, and my jaw started to hurt.”
The busy mom of triplets ignored the pain, got the kids ready for daycare, and said her usual goodbye to her husband as he left for work.
“I let it go for a couple more hours,” Meghan said, “and then, I took myself to the walk-in clinic and eventually they said, ‘You need to go to the ER.’
“I had no blockages or anything. What happened: I was born with a very large hole in my heart, so I actually had a blood clot go where it should not have gone, and that caused my heart to have a heart attack.”
She came out smiling after surgery to repair the hole in her heart; grateful to get back to her sweet family, and to running the races she loves.
“I was so lucky,” Meghan says simply.
She and her husband made sure to get the triplets, now 8 years old, checked for any heart abnormalities just in case. Meghan says tests did not show any problems.