Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer for women.
One survivor tells her how she was forced to make some life changes at 40 years old. Life changes that doctors say can prevent a heart attack or stroke by 80 percent.
Veloris Brooks is committed to a healthy lifestyle. A choice Brooks admits she was forced to make after a cup of Joe forced her to make the change.
"Coffee saved my life and I really was out of it after that coffee, now I was lethargic, now I couldn't comprehend, I couldn't walk straight, I couldn't talk I'm trying to talk, but my mouth is not moving," said Brooks.
Brooks went straight to the ER and where she underwent a number of tests. She describes the moment the doctor walked in after reviewing results from a catheter test.
"The most interesting conversation came right after that, where the doctor walked in. And said, 'you know I looked over your results, and you are at 90% clogged on the left. And you're 50% clogged on the right, you made it here just in time. A massive heart attack would have taken you out. I'll see in the morning for surgery' and walks out."
Brooks was diagnosed at 40 years old. Her health scare not uncommon among women of color. The American Heart Association reports heart attack and stroke kill more Black women than all forms of cancer, accidents, assaults, and Alzheimer's combined.
Dr. Nicole Lohr has this simple advice.
"For women, I feel so important for you to take the time to listen to yourself and you're worth it to seek help. I encourage all women to have a conversation with their doctor and say hey listen to me and advocate for yourself."
Changing to a healthier diet, exercise, and reducing stress can help women prevent heart disease significantly. Meanwhile, it's been 10 years since Brooks' health scare. She remains determined to live and shares her story in hopes of saving another woman's life.
To learn about Brooks' book about "The Strength of a Woman," click here.
To learn more about women's health, click here.