By Confidence Matiyenga
A heart is an amazing organ. Ever wondered what it does for you? It beats wildly when you meet the love of your life and aches when you read about a painful event. From a health perspective, the heart pumps blood around the body and it is made of a special type of muscle that does not become fatigued (Live Science, 2016). Your heart does amazing things for you every day but most of us take it for granted.In Africa death as a result of non-communicable diseases accounted for 2.7 million deaths or 28.6% of all deaths. This category includes heart disease according to Africa Check.
Amanda Nxumalo (not her real name) narrates how she got a heart attack.
I remember my dad had his heart surgery when I was 5 and though I was young, I could tell the pain he was going through after his open heart surgery. My grandfather died because of heart failure before I reached 13. After dad had heart failure that is when we saw that our family had this disease and it meant anyone can have it as well in my family and this could either be me or my siblings. Knowing we had a family history of heart disease, we started taking into consideration what we ate as a family and my mom made sure we were active, however, my worst fear came true.
I remember starting my day normal. I wake up early in the morning and I prepared to go to work but something didn’t feel okay on that day. I felt like something more than my weight was sitting on my chest. I brushed it off thinking I might have slept with the wrong side and the pain would go away but when I got at work it became worse, I was sweating extremely. My work colleagues called an ambulance and I was taken to a hospital. Part of me wasn’t surprised, because of my family history, but another part of me couldn’t accept it; that I was having a heart attack at this age—for crying out loud am 30?
Yes at that age and sometimes lower than Nxumalo’s age one can wonder how can a young person have a heart attack. But researchers have found that people with A, B, and AB blood types may be at greater risk of cardiovascular events – particularly heart attack – than individuals with O blood types.