Love Your Heart: Surviving a heart attack after birth

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 4:26 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - One year ago, just two weeks after one mother had given birth, she had a heart attack.

Looking at Kesha Christian today, you would never know she's a heart attack survivor.

"It takes a split second for your life to change," Christian said.

She had her son Acari more than a year ago. She left the hospital, ready to raise her son feeling healthy and strong. But, on Halloween last year, everything changed.

"I remember coming home, unwrapping all of the candy and putting it in a bowl so I would be ready when the trick-or-treaters came by. And when I woke up, I was in the hospital," said Christian. "My husband actually found me lying face down, in our walk-in closet, unconscious."

Her husband quickly dialed 911. Her heart stopped, then she had a weak pulse, and was near death. Doctors sprinted her to surgery. She had Pregnancy-Related Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection or SCAD.

"No one understands all the mechanisms of exactly why this occurs. But sometimes after pregnancy, the lining of the artery becomes weak," said Dr. Britton Eaves, a Willis-Knighton Cardiologist. "It's a relatively rare occurrence."

Doctors say her heart attack was possibly due to birth.

"It occurs often times after pregnancy in a woman between the age of 30 and 50 within about the first two weeks. So she was pretty much a classic presentation," said Dr. Eaves.

But Kesha credits good timing. Her husband was home, he called for help, and doctors were able to restore the blood flow to her heart within an hour.

"Had he went to the store and came back, I would have died," said Christian.

She's still recovering but feels much better. Now, she wants to tell others her story to prevent anyone from suffering so they can love their hearts.

"If you would have told me this a year ago, I wouldn't have believed you. Because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Working out, of course, I'm in the Army Reserves," said Christian.

She is now raising money for the American Heart Association and raising awareness of heart disease.

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