South Mississippians take a stand against heart disease

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of South Mississippians dressed in red and headed to the Beau Rivage Monday to take a stand against Heart Disease.

Here is an alarming statistic: According to the American Heart Association, the disease kills one woman every minute in this country.

Go Red event chair Teri Eaton said, "Women have a tendency to put everyone else first. They handle everything for everybody and we want to make sure they have the education that they need to realize they need to take care of themselves."

Studies show that healthy choices saves 330 women a day from dying of heart disease. That is why the heart association hosts events like Go Red to raise awareness about how important it is to get your blood pressure checked, eat healthy and stay active.

"Get out, it might just even be a small walk or parking a distance when at the grocery store," Cathy Mason said.

Making good choices is key, but knowing the symptoms of heart disease is vital.

"It's totally different from men," Becky Ginn with the American Cancer Society explained. "Lower back pain, lower jaw pain usually on the left side of your jaw. Sometimes it's pain that radiates down the left arm. Also extreme fatigue where you feel like you can't get off the chair and the latest one that's been talked about is flu like symptoms."

Some, like 4-year-old Emma Hartley, are born with heart defects. Emma didn't have a pulmonary valve and needed a donor valve. Without that an immediate surgery, she would have only lived 48 hours.

Her mom says she is thankful to the heart association for helping save her daughter's life.

"With the funding and everything we had behind us and the technology there is hope," Lisa Hartley said.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.