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Woman speaks out about surviving a heart attack

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Feb 26 2013 05:13:14 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 26 2013 06:13:47 PM CST
Washington, Beaufort County -

Vidant Medical Center is spending February promoting women's heart awareness month through "Heart Truth" events across Eastern Carolina.

66-year-old Maribeth Hoffer from Chocowinity is also learning how to take care of her heart. She suffered a heart attack in September 2012.

"I started getting some pains from my armpit down to my elbow on both arms and I knew that wasn't normal...I never had that real heavy chest pain. I had pain between my shoulder breasts. And I had enormous belching. Just continuous belching," Hoffer said.

After consulting with her daughter, Hoffer said she went to the hospital and found out she was having a heart attack and needed a stint put in her chest.

"I wasn't shocked and I was kinda cavalier about it. I don't know why," she said.

Hoffer said she hasn't had a lot of pain since her operation. However, she wants others to know the benefits of getting healthy and eating right.

"I've made changes in my diet and I feel better and I don't have that lethargy that I thought was just going to be part of my life," Hoffer said.

After her surgery, Hoffer spent three months at the Vidant Wellness Center in Washington doing rehabilitation with people like her who have had a heart attack. There she worked with an exercise physiologist and diet expert to learn how to exercise and make smarter food choices.

"We usually start them off pretty slowly at their own walking pace because first and foremost we want them to feel safe," Meagan Overman, the exercise physiologist said.

"Now, my age is just a number you know and if I keep doing what I was taught here I should have no problem," Hoffer said.

If you would like to learn more about heart disease awareness there are some Vidant Medical Center events you can attend:

Wednesday Feb. 27 - Belhaven and Edenton "Heart Truth Luncheon," 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Wilkinson Center, 144 W. Main St., Belhaven

Wednesday Feb. 27 - "Heart Truth Tea" Presented by Vidant Chowan Hospital, 4-5:30 p.m., 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, 117 East King St., Edenton

Thursday Feb. 28 - Nags Head and Windsor "Second Annual Heart Health Luncheon," 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Jennette’s Pier, 7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head

Thursday Feb. 28 - "Heart Truth Social and Dinner," 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., Cashie Convention Center, 118 County Farm Road, Windsor

Friday March 1 - Wallace "7th Annual Women's Heart Health Luncheon," Noon, River Landing Clubhouse, Grand Ballroom, 120 Clubhouse Drive, Wallace