By: Sierra Bryson
The American Heart Association says heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. The group also says it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to ensure you don't become a part of that statistic.
Stacey Derrick was 37 and had just given birth to a new born baby boy. When she suddenly had a heart attack.
"One evening I was sitting with my four year old and we were feeding my new born, and I felt sick all of a sudden and so I told my four year old go wake up your dad I don't feel well," said Stacey.
She was young, in shape and had no signs or indications that this kind of disease would have occurred.
Stacey was rushed to the hospital where doctors found one of her heart's main arteries had torn and was hanging on by a thin strand.
Her family had a history of heart problems and she now looks back and sees where she went wrong.
"I was probably a fan of the drive-thru with my kids the most," says Stacey.
Columbia Heart Cardiologist Gopi Shah says living a healthy lifestyle means that you're not living in excess. He also mentioned that Stacey's fast food habits may have played a part in her heart attack.
"Living a life where you're eating an unnecessary amount of calories, that can lead to obesity, can lead to diabetes, can lead to high cholesterol. All those factors can lead to hypertension, all those factors increase the chance of developing coronary heart disease," says Shah.
Stacey is now learning to live a healthier lifestyle by not eating fast foods and exercising daily.
For information about how to prevent heart disease you can visit the American Heart Association web page.