More than 500 Northwest Houston residents attended the annual Go Red for Women event hosted by the American Heart Association Feb. 13 at the Berry Center.

Aside from listening to several speakers during lunch, guests had the chance to get blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings. Additionally, there was a silent auction that featured purses filled with gift cards, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo tickets, beauty items and more.

Deborah Medellin, a Houston resident who underwent cardiovascular surgery last October, spoke to guests and urged them to listen to their bodies, something she did not do when her symptoms first appeared.

“You know what’s normal, and you know what’s not normal,” Medellin said. “Don’t wait until the last minute.”

Although Medellin felt tightness in her chest after walking long distances or carrying something heavy, it did not happen very often. It was not until she was in a hotel room across the country when she experienced worsening symptoms. Medellin made it back to Houston, went to her doctor and had a coronary arteriogram procedure, which determined a blockage that could only be removed with surgery.

“It was a shock to me, a complete and total shock, in spite of the fact that I’ve had diabetes for so long, that I had to have surgery,” Medellin said.

The doctor in charge of Medellin’s operation used robotic surgery in place of traditional cardiac surgery, and she was back at work in one month.

“It was really an amazing experience for me, and I think we all need to realize how lucky we are to live in Houston, where there is world class medicine,” Medellin said. “We don’t have to leave our home to find good care.”


 
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