April 11, 2024

Jessica Charron

In June of 2020, 40 year old at the time, Jessica Charron began feeling what she describes as a “brain freeze” and chills. Believing it was a pinched nerve, she thought little of it and went about her night. She awoke at 2:30 am feeling the chills, but now the pain had worked its way down her head, neck, back, and arms. Jessica called her mother to come stay at the house with her two boys and planned a ride to the hospital.

After spending three hours in the ER, tests and EKG’s were inconclusive. Jessica begged the doctor not to release her, as she knew something was seriously wrong. During a CT scan, the pain worsened. After the pain subsided and she completed the CT scan, she began vomiting. Her medical team quickly ran an additional EKG which confirmed a high T-Wave, an early sign of a heart attack.

Jessica was rushed to the catheterization lab where physicians discovered she was experiencing a massive heart attack, commonly known as the “widow maker.” Her physician opened the blockage and placed a stent. Jessica recovered and returned home to her family, but still didn’t feel like herself. Adamant something was wrong, Jessica went through the process of elimination, visiting various physicians in search of an answer. Jessica ultimately experienced the symptoms during an appointment with her cardiologist and was transferred to her local hospital where she underwent another catheterization that had determined that something was very wrong. They discovered restenosis in the stent that was just placed five months earlier and another blockage, a 95% occlusion in the left main. Jessica fortunately avoided a second heart attack, what could have been another “widow maker”, yet would require triple bypass surgery. Had Jessica not been persistent, her doctors stated it would have been only a matter of time before she suffered another massive attack.

Prior to her heart attack, Jessica had never experienced any health issues, though she had tragically lost her father due to a heart attack. Jessica believes she is alive today partly because of God’s will, but also because of her self-advocacy when her diagnosis was unclear not just once, but twice. Today, Jessica has returned to an active lifestyle. She feels blessed to be able to live each day as the mother of her two boys and continues to live a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. It is now her mission to share her story to educate other women about heart disease and promote self-advocacy.


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