Know your numbers.
That’s the message for women from Alyson McCord, who had to learn the hard way.
The 45-year-old Baton Rouge mother found out about the importance of blood pressure and cholesterol numbers after suffering not one but six mini-strokes in January 2016, and, eight months later, a major stroke.
But McCord was lucky. She survived. Strokes and heart disease cause one in three deaths among women each year — more than all cancers combined, according to the American Heart Association.
McCord survived, but it wasn’t easy.
“I was in a coma for three days,” says McCord, an attorney with the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services Appeals Unit. “When I came to, I couldn’t talk and my entire right side was paralyzed.”
She had been battling high blood pressure for a while; her doctor unable to get it under control. At one point, it climbed to 180 (systolic) over 111 (diastolic). Normal blood pressure is below 120 systolic over below 80 diastolic. She had the first two mini-strokes at home.