"I had pain in my chest that dropped me on the kitchen floor," she recalled. "I'd never felt that kind of pain. It never crossed my mind that there was anything wrong with my heart."
When the pain spread down her arm, Hess' husband rushed her to a nearby emergency room, where doctors found two blocked arteries. Hess underwent bypass surgery, then transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., became her cardiologist.
"Heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country," said Robertson, professor of Medicine at VUMC and chief science officer of the American Heart Association. "But no one thinks it will happen to them. We need more outreach to encourage prevention and get women thinking about it." continued..