Health Matters: When Heart Attacks Strike

You’re never too young or old to have a heart attack.

It’s a scary thought but heart attacks can strike just about anyone…even if you’re not experiencing the typical symptoms.

I spoke with a Cardiologist at Essentia and she says many Americans have undiagnosed high blood pressure, cholesterol and even diabetes and at that point a heart attack just becomes a waiting game.
“I was just feeling something wasn’t right I could tell something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it,” says Jason Dahlen of Ashby, Minnesota.
At just 44-years-old, Jason Dahlen would have never thought he would be having a heart attack.

But after passing out at his construction job, he was immediately rushed to the hospital where he learned the news.
“Paramedics told me I was having a heart attack which I couldn’t believe at my age 44. I thought geez this can’t be happening,” says Dahlen.
Doctors put a stent in Dahlen. His artery was completely blocked.
“Yes people can have heart attacks in their 30s, people can have heart attacks in their 20s and have risk factors they may not even be aware of,” says Essentia Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Kapphahn.
Kapphahn says she’s seen patients with some serious heart issues, and they don’t even know it.
“You very well could be dealing with a process that for years before it’s an event like a heart attack is asymptomatic where you’re not going to have any signs that you’re having this problem of heart artery disease,” says Kapphahn.
To this day Jason counts his lucky stars to still be alive.
“If I would have been anywhere else than there and no one was around that’s probably what I would have done just closed my eyes and sleep and never woke up,” says Dahlen.
“If something is not right with your body you need to listen to it. The one person who has the most experience with your body is you,” says Kapphahn.
As we mentioned last week Jason’s story will also be shared at the Red River Valley Heart Ball, held next Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

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