Rockdale Medical Center

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Nancy Kersey - Rockdale Medical CenterNancy Kersey began her work day at Rockdale Medical Center’s Outpatient Mammography department, when she began to feel a dull pain that started in her left ear, traveled down her jaw line and soon became extreme pressure in her chest. Her co-workers at Rockdale Medical Center reacted quickly and efficiently to save her life.

I began my normal work day on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, in the Rockdale Medical Center (RMC) Outpatient Mammography department.  I was working alone at the front desk when I immediately started to feel a dull pain that started in my left ear, traveled down my jaw line and soon became extreme pressure in my chest. I knew that something was very wrong.  Trying to stay calm, I made my way to the back of the department where my co-workers, Kathy, Judy, Bonnie and Dr. Stiles, quickly assessed that I was in need of medical attention.  

My coworkers helped to save my life that day. They quickly recognized that I was displaying the signs and symptoms of a heart-attack and ordered a STEMI-ALERT (STEMI stands for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction), an emergency code for a heart attack. This alert notifies the appropriate staff that someone with a suspected heart attack is at or en-route to the hospital’s emergency room (ER).

The quick actions of the RMC staff helped a STEMI team, comprised of highly trained nurses, techs and an interventional cardiologist, be prepped and ready to go once I arrived in ER, where an assessment of my condition was done, and I was transported to the Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) lab. When it was discovered that I had an 80% blockage in one artery and 100% blockage in another one, the team went straight to work stinting the 100% blockage. I was able to return on December 2nd to have the second stint placed in the other artery.

I am now in the Cardiac Fitness program offered at RMC and am impressed with the professional team who help individuals make the lifestyle changes necessary following a heart attack.

I feel I would not have survived the heart attack if it had not been for the excellent and immediate care from everyone involved at RMC. I am now retired after a 24 year career at RMC and doing very well. My recovery is due to the people at RMC who saved my life, including the Cardiac Cath team guided that day by Dr. Enrique Flores. I am thankful for their outstanding care. I want to encourage everyone to learn about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack for women and men. It could save your life!


Know Heart Attack Signs in Women by the American Heart Association

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.