Dr. Hope's Story
In August 2003, Dr. Annie Hope entered her office for a routine day of treating patients, but soon found herself experiencing severe chest pain, nausea and sweating.
An avid jogger, vegetarian, and mother of three, 39-year-old Hope had no known risk factors for heart disease, and doctors could not believe someone of her age and fitness having a heart attack.
Hope did suffer from a heart attack, however, which likely resulted from the combination of her headache medication and a plaque build-up in a coronary artery.
Following her heart attack, Hope entered cardiac rehab with a strong incentive to recover, but she needed both physical and emotional guidance. Hope says the program taught her how to regain her normal lifestyle safely and not too quickly. Emotionally, it gave her the opportunity to talk about her fears.
"At a time when you're really in need, you're just very vulnerable," she says. "You're weak and you're sick - it's really great emotionally to have that support."
Today, Hope is back treating patients and says she takes nothing for granted. Since her heart attack, she and and her husband have adopted a little boy from Ethiopia and she also gave birth to another child. Hope is living proof that while heart attacks can happen to anyone at any age, they don't have to stop you from doing anything.