Every minute counts during a heart attack; local woman tells her - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Every minute counts during a heart attack; local woman tells her story

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Kathy and Marty Miller Kathy and Marty Miller

After suffering a massive heart attack one local woman recognizes how fortunate she is to be alive to tell her story; a story she hopes others can learn from.

Kathy Miller never thought she would have a heart attack; however on September 14, 2011, her world was forever changed.

Kathy had been having bad migraines for several days, but once her arm started hurting and her chest began to pound, she knew she needed help. So her husband Marty, a long time NEWS10 photographer, called 911.

The Bruen Rescue Squad gets a lot of heart related calls. They respond quickly and the fast action can mean the difference between life and death.

"The doctor said to me [I was] that close, and I was very lucky," Kathy said.

Marty and Kathy are both members of the East Greenbush Fire Department. They are familiar faces in the community and to Robert Potter, the first EMT on the scene that day.

Kathy was in full-blown cardiac arrest.

Potter immediately gave her three Aspirin, oxygen and hooked her up to a monitor that sent her condition to Albany Med immediately.

"She was touch and go the whole time," he describes.

Once at Albany Med, doctors were able to put in two stents. Kathy credits the combination of heroic efforts for being here today. Her husband Marty says the fast work at the hospital was truly amazing, and in true photographer fashion he made sure to document the moment.

"I made her say I'm better so we could send it to Florida," Marty said. Florida is where the Miller's grandson lives.

Now Kathy says she is feeling great and has some made some big changes in her life; she quit smoking, she exercises every day, and she eats healthier.

Kathy's message is to educate yourself. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, know your body and call your doctor when something isn't right.

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