PINE BELT (WDAM) - For the last 15 years, the American Heart Association’s Go Red awareness campaign has been encouraging women to get checked for heart disease.
Patricia Jefcoat found out she had a bad mitral valve 16 years ago.
“He said, ‘has anybody ever told you have a heart problem?’” Jefcoat said.
The bad valve was quickly replaced with a mechanical valve that lasted for 10 years.
“But then my heart just gave out,” Jefcoat said. “So at that point it was like there’s no other choice.”
Jefcoat is now a six-year heart transplant survivor and longtime volunteer with the American Heart Association.
“The skills that these doctors learn from what they get from the American Heart Association is just, it’s things that I would not be here today if the research hadn’t been done and these doctors had not learned all these technologies that they have,” Jefcoat said.
The American Heart Association is an organization that strives to promote awareness of heart disease and raise money for heart research. In 2004, the AHA launched the Go Red campaign, encouraging women to wear red to inspire and empower those impacted by heart disease.
"Women have heart disease just like men,” said Go Red Chairwomen Robin Robinson. “Go Red is for awareness, to remind women that with heart disease we should be sure to monitor our numbers and to be sure that we take care of ourselves.”
Robinson wants women to know that heart disease can affect anyone, including loved ones.
“It could be your sister, your mother, our daughter,” Robinson said. “It’s something we need to get serious about as women. I know we are taught to check certain things about our health, but heart health is critical.”
Some heart disease Statistics from the AHA:
- A women dies every minute from heart disease.
- 25 percent of Mississippi deaths are from heart disease.
- It also the leading cause of female deaths in the state.