May 16, 2013
10:00am - 2:00pm
JW Marriott Downtown Los Angeles
710 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
As a competitive figure skater, Toshawa Andrews of Los Angeles is in top physical condition. Although this athlete puts her heart on the line during figure skating competitions, it is this heart that has intrigued many cardiologists.
In 2003, Toshawa was in the middle of an ice-skating routine when she began to experience an intense burning in her chest. Like many women, Toshawa disregarded her body’s warning sign and passed off the pain as “heartburn.”
But after dealing with this pain for eight hours, 30-year-old Toshawa decided to see a doctor.
The cardiologist found elevated levels of troponin, a hormone that is often a precursor to a heart attack, but when an angiogram failed to show any blockage in her coronary arteries, the possibility of a heart attack was dropped.
Toshawa did not experience any more heart complications until after her son was born in 2007.
Coincidently she was ice skating one morning when she began to feel the same burning sensation on her chest that she felt in 2003. But this time she paid attention to the warning signs. After undergoing testing and evaluation, doctors discovered that she had a heart attack. This was followed by 10 more heart attacks in the next three years.
Toshawa was eventually diagnosed with cardiac microvascular disease and was prescribed up to fifteen pills a day to control this rare and unusual condition.
Doctors remain uncertain as to what triggers her attacks. She has experienced heart attacks when ice skating and even when sleeping. Although doctors may never know what the triggers are, one thing is for certain –Toshawa took charge of her health by paying attention to her body’s warning signs. As a heart attack survivor who has shared her story with The American Heart Association, Toshawa serves as an inspiration on and off the ice.
Get inspired. Get informed. Join health and fitness experts, medical professionals, and women like you to hear the concrete steps you can take today for better heart health.
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