Heart Month: Heart disease awareness

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - February is heart health month and while we work to help raise the profile of heart disease and your risk for the nation's leading killer over the next couple of weeks, one local woman says we've got to pay more attention to our hearts, every day of the year.

She's got three very shocking reasons as to why.

Diana Lee has always been incredibly active. Knowing heart disease ran in her family, she's worked out, watched her diet, and gotten a good night's rest her entire adult life.

But in 2015, during a court hearing about an accident she had been in Dianna fell to the ground.

“I remember being asked by the lawyer one more question and I started to answer and I remember being unable to make him understand what I was saying.”

Her heart had stopped.

It was only through the quick action of those around her and a defibrillator nearby that she's here today.

These days, Diana spends as much time as she can with family and friends. She travels a lot and is an advocate for others facing heart conditions.

Sadly, she's also an advocate for suicide awareness. Her own daughter, depressed due to the complications of severe congestive heart failure herself at a very young age, took her own life.

That was a year before her own cardiac arrest.

Diana has had two additional episodes of her heart-stopping, both times she was at the gym.

“Which doesn't mean you quit exercising, it means you're careful about how you exercise."

At 77 years old, she has no intention of slowing down. Important, she says, for her heart and her soul.

“You only have one body and your job is to take care of it and why aren't you'”

Heart disease symptoms are often very different for women than men. Diana says it's important to know the signs.

She is joining us on Tuesday for the American Heart Association's local "Go Red for Women" event at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The event kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction.
Tickets are purchasable under “registration” here.