CINCINNATI — One Hyde Park family has a cause that’s very close to their hearts – to make sure other people are "heart healthy," because it’s been a big medical issue in their family.
Erin Hyatt enjoys the little moments with her 3-year-old daughter, Hadley, on lovely spring days. She understands how precious time is.
“I’m raising a little girl and I want her to know,” Hyatt said, regarding the family’s medical history of serious heart issues.
She volunteers her time to the American Heart Association – and in this year’s ‘Women of Impact’ campaign, she’s raising money for research and education people. Her focus it to make sure men and women across her company are smart about their blood pressure.
Recently, Hyatt’s sister-in-law Tonia Elrod suffered a heart issue.
“Came home and started to not feel well,” Elrod said. “Nausea, sensitivity to light, became extremely tired and then pain in left arm.”
The CPR instructions that came over 911 kept Elrod alive through her heart attack ordeal.
“So over the course of the 24-hour period, Saturday to Sunday, I had five episodes of cardiac arrest,” Elrod said.
Two years after that fateful day, she’s grateful to be talking about the totally unexpected incident that changed her life at the age of 45.
“I’m trying to take the time I have left to raise awareness of heart disease – the number one killer of men and women,” Elrod said. “I’m a beneficiary of people who have donated before me. Some of the research the American Heart Association funded in the past helped save my life.
The work Hyatt and Elrod do with the American Heart Association now helps the future. That means things will be better for their children and everyone’s.
The two women want people to be aware of certain things when it comes to heart disease, like their family histories, their numbers and the warning signs. Those generally include nausea, vomiting, jaw, neck or back pain, chest pain – but not always – chest pressure and shortness of breath.