Patient Success Stories
Mary Pat Fallon
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. At every age, more women die of heart disease than all types of cancer combined, including breast cancer. Consider the story of Mary Pat Falloon of Orland Park. Despite a very active and healthy lifestyle, she developed chest pain at age 46.
Mary Pat was hiking with friends in Arizona when she began to experience unusual pain in her chest and arms. While she experienced discomfort, she was not alarmed until the pain continued to recur after returning home. Mary Pat came in to see Dr. Drinan, cardiologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, and received immediate care. A stress test was abnormal, and suggested the presence of a blockage in her right coronary artery. Dr. Drinan immediately scheduled an angiogram of her coronary arteries, and a stent was inserted into her right coronary artery after a 95% blockage was found.
“It’s hard to believe this could happen to me because I live a very healthy life, but my instincts told me something was not right,” said Mary Pat. “Dr. Drinan listened to me—due to her compassion and efficient service, she saved my life.”
“Cases like Mary Pat’s remind us that we all need to be aware of the symptoms and signs of heart disease, especially in women,” says Dr.Drinan. “Risk factors aside, her case shows why every woman should take control of her heart health and learn about the tools available to screen for heart disease.”
“I feel fortunate to be alive, and am grateful that I came in when I did,” exclaims Mary Pat. “The cardiac team was so surprised, and impressed at how quickly I was treated. They said that all too often women were not getting diagnosed quick enough and that I was normally someone they would find dead on the kitchen floor.”
Women who have high blood pressure, stress, extra weight, smoking, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Women who have been treated for certain types of cancer also have increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Despite the statistics, it is alarming that many women remain unaware of the risks and warning signs of heart problems