THE BRONX — February is American Heart Month. People with heart disease are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and heart failure patients are at double the risk of dying from the virus, according to experts.
Tameeka Edwards, 46, from the Bronx, said she didn’t know how close she was to dying from heart failure. Now, she has a message for other women just like her: don’t ignore the signs.
It was January 2018. Edwards was singing at her church when she felt pain and shortness of breathe. She panicked, put herself in a cab and went straight to Mount Sinai. What doctors found next was shocking.
“I was diagnosed with acute heart failure. I thought it was a death sentence,” said Edwards.
Dr. Maya Barghash is Edwards doctor.
“Signs of heart failure are shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, difficulty breathing when you are sleeping, or cough at night when you are sleeping,” said Barghash.
According to the American Heart Association, Cardiovascular disease kills nearly 50,000 African American women annually. Barghash said it’s important to know the signs of heart failure and to be proactive.
Barghash said to have a healthy heart, have a healthy diet, stay active, and see your doctor regularly.
Edwards took her doctor’s advice and now takes part in cardiac rehab at Mount Sinai, a program that offers exercise, nutritional guidance and counseling.
Edwards lost 52 pounds and is now singing a different tune with a healthy and happy heart.