Patient Story

Cardiac Care - Judy TaylorWhen Judy Taylor, a phone triage nurse at Tampa General Hospital's Family Care Center Healthpark, was in her early 50s she had a heart attack, followed by another cardiac episode seven months later. She credits Tampa General for saving her life. The first episode occurred during a skiing trip where she began feeling excessive fatigue. The fatigue lingered when she returned home. She attributed it to her stressful job, busy family life, and the need for more exercise. Shortly afterward, Judy had a heart attack at her job as a pediatric nephrology coordinator for the University of South Florida. While working in a building adjacent to TGH's campus, Judy felt breathless. Then she experienced a severe crushing pain in her chest, started to perspire, and feel nauseated. "I thought I was tired and rushed from being behind at work. But the other part of my brain told me I was having a heart attack," Judy said. An ambulance rushed her to Tampa General's Emergency Department where doctors determined she was having a heart attack. They administered medications, and performed an immediate angioplasty to clear a clogged artery. She completed TGH's Cardiac Rehabilitation program, returned to work, and was under a cardiologist's care. While her blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal, Judy's job continued to be stressful. Seven months later she experienced minor chest pains. Tampa General physicians found she had a blocked artery and performed heart bypass surgery. "I really think Tampa General saved my life twice," says Judy, who is healthy today. "I wouldn't go anywhere else. I had wonderful care." Judy's advice for other women: Stay fit, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and control stress. If you have chest pain, call 911 - don't drive to the hospital - and be aware of your family's cardiac health history. Both of her parents died of heart conditions, which increased her risk of developing heart disease.