When Celia Lanham experienced strange symptoms in the October of 2019, she could not believe they were the beginning of a heart attack.
Fast forward a few years and the Launceston woman is hoping to help others by sharing her story.
Ms Lanham considered herself a fit and healthy 46-year-old the year she had her heart attack. With no previous family history at the time, there was no indication that she was at risk of having a medical emergency.
"I started to feel queasy, with pain in my back between my shoulder blades," she said.
"The pain spread to my chest and across my back. I then started to get pain in both of my wrists, as if I had tight blades around them."
Though Ms Lanham was reluctant to go to hospital, her husband kept pushing her to do so as he was worried the symptoms could be the start of something worse.
"I wasn't even thinking it could be a heart attack. In the end, the thing that convinced me was the pain in my wrists," she said.
"When I was in triage, the pain in my back, chest, and wrist became so bad that I struggled to stand up straight."
The next thing Ms Lanham knew was she was attached to a machine, had a cannula in each arm, and was surrounded by nurses.
"I started to panic. I have never been faced with the real thought that I might die," she said.
Ms Lanham did not fit the criteria for an at-risk heart attack patient, but experienced the attack due to a section of an artery becoming detached and blocking her artery.
"The reason [I am sharing my story] is because for the first few months I really kept it to myself ... but then I realised I had to get the message out there that if you do have any symptoms that you have to go to the hospital because I wasn't going to," she said.
After her heart attack, Ms Lanham was told to minimise stress where possible and continue exercising. Now, the heart attack survivor hopes to help others prevent the possibility of a heart attack.
"I think having that experience where I could have died and I thought I was going to die has really made me realise you need to take each day as it comes and just enjoy life," Ms Lanham said.
The Clifford Craig Foundation's annual Run & Walk for your Heart event is coming up, and Ms Lanham will be there to show her support for raising awareness for heart health and funds for research.
Heart disease affects four million Australians each year and kills one person every 12 minutes.
The Run & Walk for your Heart event will be held October 3 at UTAS Stadium. For more information on ticket prices and track length details visit cliffordcraig.org.au.
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