Caringbah’s Sarah Ford was only 39 when she had a heart attack playing netball.
She will tell you it hit her “out of the blue” while running around on the netball courts in Taren Point.
It came as a huge shock for the mother of two young children who wasn’t overweight, kept fit, didn’t have high blood pressure, and wasn’t suffering from a heart condition.
After recovering from the big scare, her husband and a few friends started up a new charity in the shire called SCAD Research Inc Australia. The charity is looking to fund research and raise awareness about spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), which often affects people who are healthy and under 50.
“It was out of the blue,” Mrs Ford said, about her heart attack a few years ago.
“My vision went foggy and I could not catch my breath. But I thought it was just a fitness thing, you know, playing netball.
“I went off the court and sat down and felt a pain in my arm. But it still didn’t even occur to me [that it could be a heart attack].”
She said her heart was also racing out of her chest.
She called her family to pick her up and they took her to a doctor after realising something was clearly wrong. She was transferred to Sutherland Hospital and later found out she had suffered a heart attack.
SCAD is a relatively uncommon condition which leads to a heart attack. The condition happens when blood vessels in the heart tear. The tear can block blood flow and cause a heart attack.
It mainly occurs among women, particularly among mothers who are pregnant or have just had a child.
Mrs Ford said there was still a lot of research to be done around SCAD-related heart attacks and they had started SCAD Research Inc Australia to help fund that research, as well as raise awareness about the condition.
“We are just about to have our first event. It will be a 5km walk in the inner west on May 28.”
For more information about the SCADaddles walk event and fund raiser go to www.scadresearch.com.au.
The local charity was started by Mrs Ford’s husband Ian Naylor and friends Tito Machado and Neil Summers.
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