Mid-Michigan woman, 39, survives heart attack

Cynthia Wellman at her home in Freeland.

It was nearly a year ago when 39 yo, Cynthia Wellman's life changed forever.

"I woke up about 4:30 a.m. with this tugging," she said. "It felt like someone wanted to rip out my heart."

Cynthia thought nothing of the pain, she blamed it on stress and went back to bed. But it was only four hours later when she woke up again in even more pain, a pain that wouldn't stop.

Cynthia ended up going on with her day. She was heading to Mount Pleasant to spend time with her sister. But the continued pain concerned her and she ended up driving herself to the emergency room.

After medical examiners ran some tests, they came back and told Cynthia she had a heart attack and that she was probably having one at that very moment.

In a 24 hour period that day, Cynthia had three heart attacks.

"How did this happen," Cynthia kept asking herself. "I'm pretty healthy, always up and moving and eat fairly healthy, I just didn't understand."

Cynthia was not happy with the medical treatment she was given at the hospital. She said she was given medicine and sent home. But she knew in her heart, something was still wrong.

Cynthia kept telling herself, "39 year olds don't have heart attacks."

After seeking a second opinion from a women's heart specialist in Ann Arbor, Cynthia was diagnosed with Prinzmetal's Angina , a form of chest pain, pressure, or tightness (angina) caused by spasms in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

"It's basically small blood vessels that go to your heart," Cynthia explained. "I don't have enough oxygen, my heart can't breathe, so it's not your typical heart attack blockage."

Since Cynthia's diagnosis, she has gone from traditional medication to more natural ways of healing.

"I feel great, it's helped me and I take a lot of herbs," said Cynthia." I actually have a homeopathic doctor in Mount Pleasant."

Today Cynthia feels great. She is doing her best to make healthier food choices although she is not depriving herself from the snacks. She is also exercising each day.

Cynthia says she has a new appreciation for life and also her body. She offers the following advice to everyone, especially to women today.

"Everyone has fatigue, back pain, but think about what is normal for you know," Cynthia says. "What's normal and what's not normal? "Women ignore it because that's what women do. They have that maternal instinct, thinking oh I'll take care of the husband and kids, everybody else but me... you can't do that."

If you would like to help fight back against heart disease join our NBC25 team and walk in this year's American Heart Association's Start! Heart Walk this weekend, May 21st, Downtown Flint .

Plus: American Heart Association

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