Open Accessibility Menu

How Mary Kennedy Survived a Heart Attack

  • Posted On:
  • Written By: PVHMC - Admin
How Mary Kennedy Survived a Heart Attack

Mary Kennedy has a message for women who shrug off vague symptoms they think can’t possibly be a heart attack – don’t hesitate to call for help immediately.

“If I’d hesitated, I would not have survived,” said Mary, 81, who lives in Covina with her husband and three adult grandchildren. “I had to be revived twice in the ambulance on the way to the Hospital, and it’s only five miles from my house.”

Mary awoke one day in February 2015 knowing something wasn’t right. “I thought ‘I’m in trouble,’” she said. “I couldn’t breathe properly. That’s not usually something associated with a heart attack.”

When the ambulance arrived and Mary told the paramedics where she usually went for care, they said there was no better place for heart care than Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC).

“My right artery was completely blocked and they put a stent in,” she said. “At first the doctors didn’t think I was going to make it because my heart had been so badly blocked. Thanks to Pomona Valley Hospital, I have quality of life today that I don’t think I would have had if I had not gone there. I owe my life to them.”

After two weeks in the PVHMC intensive care unit, Mary was able to finish her recovery at home, with her adult children overseeing her home health nursing and physical therapy care. Eight months later, she was back on her horse. Today, she stays busy knitting Aran sweaters and volunteering with the Los Angeles County Mounted Assistance Unit, which patrols county park trails and reports hazards or dangerous conditions. She said it was the CPR and first aid training she received as a volunteer that let her know she was having a heart attack.

“Every heart attack is different, especially in women,” she said. “You will never feel stupid because you called for help. If it’s not a heart attack, great. But if you think it might be, call. Don’t take the chance.”

Mary keeps a close watch on her health, visiting her primary care physician every three months and her cardiologist, Nitanth Vangala, MD, every six months.

“I cannot say enough about the care I received at Pomona Valley,” she said. “The staff and physicians there are amazing. You cannot get better care.”