In early 2014, Jeanne Krumrey was finding herself constantly tired. Many of the things she did on a regular basis, like house and yard work, she wasn’t able to finish without having to stop and rest. These everyday activities just wore her out, and she chalked it up to “getting older.” Often she “felt bad,” but she wasn’t sick. One evening in the summer of 2014, Jeanne experienced a crushing pain in the center of her chest, but just as she was about to call for help the pain went away.
The next morning, she made an appointment with her doctor. However, the night before her doctor’s appointment, the pain returned. The pain in the center of her chest came on suddenly and refused to ease up. The pain Jeanne felt was a sharp, twisting pain, causing her to become dizzy and nervous, and very short of breath. The pain grew as she waited on an ambulance.
“When the ambulance arrived they immediately did an EKG and it was normal.” Jeanne said. “The paramedic asked me why I was holding my chest, and I told him it’s because that’s where it hurts. I know it sounds crazy, but in hindsight I was very fortunate that I had the pain and was able to get help.”
“During the ambulance ride, I never felt fear — not one time. I wasn’t scared, and the entire time I was thinking, ‘Ok, maybe I’m about to be in the presence of God.’ So I was trying to remember all of my favorite scriptures, because I couldn’t do anything else,” Jeanne said.
Jeanne was transferred to St. Joseph Regional Heath Center in Bryan. Despite EKG’s that came back normal, she needed a stent in her main artery (LAD), because it was 100 percent blocked. It wasn’t until the doctors performed an enzyme blood test that they discovered Jeanne was having a heart attack. It was a heart attack that some doctors call the “widow maker.”
“I believe it was by the grace of God that I’m still here and that God’s not through with me yet. That His purpose for me is not finished, otherwise I would have died in that ambulance,” Jeanne said. “My doctor told my sons most people die when they have the widow maker heart attack.”
Jeanne has some heart damage now and another artery with 90 percent blockage, but is working with her cardiologist, Dr. Marc Schwartz at St. Joseph Regional Heath Center in Bryan. They are working together to lower her cholesterol with medication and she is doing daily exercise to strengthen her heart muscles. Even though Jeanne had a close encounter with death, she is happy God is not done with her yet. Now she has more time to spend with her family and grandchildren.
After the heart attack it took some time, but Jeanne is back to her regular activities. She is very active in Bellville United Methodist Church and helps lead a women’s Bible study. Working in the church office one day a week and being her son’s office manager keeps her busy. Jeanne is also a proud charter member (30 years) of the Austin County Civic Chorale.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, killing one in three women each year, according to the American Heart Association. Jeanne wants women to be proactive and to talk with their doctors about what they can do to help prevent heart disease.