Westchester mother raises awareness for heart disease

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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS -

A Westchester County mother is looking to raise awareness for heart disease after a scare just before the holidays.

It was an otherwise ordinary morning on Dec. 21, 2017 when Yorktown businesswoman Kristen Fiumara was in a meeting and felt a sharp pain in her chest. She got herself to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with spontaneous coronary artery dissection, or SCAD.

She was 35 years old at the time and had given birth to her second child about four months prior.

About 80 percent of those affected by the extremely rare SCAD are woman. One-third of them are in their third trimester of pregnancy or have recently given birth.

After a two-hour operation, three days of recovery and four heart stents, Fiumara was back home with her family.

Since February is American Heart Month, Fiumara says she hopes her story will remind people in the Hudson Valley to look for symptoms of heart disease, which include chest pain, back pain and pain through the left arm.

"I have to turn a negative into a positive and let women know that there's no face to a heart attack," she says.

The American Heart Association encourages people to wear red throughout the month.

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