Parret Credits Great ER Care In Saving Her Life
“On April 13, I was at home in bed. It was about 2 a.m. and I woke up and just wasn’t feeling right,” shared Sandra Parret about the night that transformed her life. “I didn’t dream it was my heart. I was dizzy but not dizzy. I felt weird so I got up and headed to the bathroom. Once there I just felt like I wanted to lie down so I thought ‘I have to get to the bed’ but collapsed before I got there. My partner called 911 and before we left the house the emergency responders gave me a baby aspirin to chew on. I was then rushed to the emergency room at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.”
Soon after her arrival Parret was diagnosed with having a heart attack. “Some things about being in the ER are very clear and other things are a complete blur,” commented Parret. “I really feel like Debbie Tomlinson (ER provider at PVCH ED) saved my life that night. I was never really worried because someone was always telling me ‘you are in good hands’. Someone was paving the way for me.”
Parret was then transported out by Eagle Med to Hays Medical Center. “I ended up having two heart attacks with 100% blockage, and before everything was over I had three stents put in,” commented Parret. Miraculously there was no damage to her heart.
Prior to her heart attacks, Parret knew she carried some risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but she was taking medications to combat their effects. Nine years earlier she was also a smoker but had given that bad habit up. And working at a high stress job with demanding deadlines – well that didn’t improve the situation. You see, because she had a family history of heart disease and combined with the other risk factors, it made her more aware of the possibilities of heart disease than most.
Because of this awareness, Parret had taken up swimming before work with a few of her friends. But two weeks prior to the heart attacks she started to notice that while getting ready for work she would be running out of energy. She brushed it off and contributed it to being sick with allergies, which eventually lead her to give up her swimming routine. Then she started to experience pain in her neck and shoulders which continued to get worse, even while just sitting.
Following her stents and release from the hospital, Parret has been faithful to her rehab appointments at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. She is currently on a regiment of doing cardiac rehab three days a week alternating with physical therapy two days a week. “I’m at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital five days a week. I love it! I think it is a great hospital and the doctors and staff are wonderful and caring,” shared Parret. “I’m so glad we have it here because having this hospital here truly saved my life.”
As a grandmother to five grandchildren, ages 16 – 5, Parret today understands that life is too short. Her advice to friends and family is that “There is nothing that’s worth the stress of losing your life for it. Enjoy life and find a way to do what you love to do.”