Dan & Andrea Solero Mooresville, IN
19 years ago my dad, a physician, said my boyfriend would have a heart attack by the time he was 40. Why would he scare me like this at 22 years old? Why would I care that was a life time away. I’ve been married to that man for 13 years now. When he turned 40, my dad’s prediction came back to me. Would this really happen? He does have high cholesterol, but he is so active. We’re runners, we eat healthy. We’re already doing everything “right”.
Dan knew he was at risk, he even did a heart scan and met with a cardiologist when the scan showed some build up. The cardiologist ran some tests. Before we could even get the results on July 18, 2012, Dan came to me saying, "my jaw hurts will you take me to prompt med?" Tell me more about the pain I said. He snapped it just hurts, are you going to take me? Dan is never sick and never agitated. Instantly in my head I hear my dads words and then I think oh my God, he’s having a heart attack. Now I should have called 911, but I didn’t. We’re in between county lines and we don’t always get a quick response. I knew I could have him to the hospital, safely, in less that 15 minutes. It might take that long just to get a dispatch. I drove him to St. Francis Mooresville. On the way he said his back was hurting. I said, babe, you’re having a heart attack, when did you last take an aspirin? "I am not, just drive!" he replied. (looking back I think he knew he was!) Pulling into the ER I said the words heart attack and he was instantly swarmed by a team of doctors and nurses. The monitors confirmed he was in the beginning stages of what would be a massive attack that didn’t fully hit him until he was in an ambulance to the Heart Hospital at St Francis Indianapolis. The surgeon told me Dan had 100% blockage of his main artery and a 90% blockage of the secondary. “The Widow Maker” as it’s called. He said I saved his life. I saved his life. How did I come so close to being a widow at 39 years old? I called my dad hysterically thanking him for warning me so many years ago. I can’t take all the credit. Dan knew he was at a high risk because he and nearly everyone in his family has high cholesterol. He was on the right track, taking nearly every statin that’s been available for the last 15 years, he was doing the right things. Everyone said, but Dan runs, he eats right, he’s young. There isn’t a “look” you do not have to be an aging, over weight, sedentary person to have a heart attack. We want people to know that. We want people to research their family history, to get heart scans, to have their cholesterol checked and to have their children’s checked as well. We found out Dan has Familial Hypercholesterolemia , our son does too. We recently celebrated his 2 year anniversary. It’s an anniversary I look forward to celebrating every year. Easily, the best and worst day of my life. We are proud to be a part of the heart walk again this year. Dan was one of the recipients for the Lifestyle Change award in 2013. We are recruiting our friends and family to join our group, Jonnie’s Goodguys, which is a heart health focus running club we formed after losing a friend to an aortic dissection. We are surrounded by people that are affected by heart issues way too young. We are trying to do our small part to give them the warning signs they need to take care of themselves!