Named a 2015 national American Heart Association spokeswoman, Julia Allen is using her incredible survival story to educate other African-American women.
It was a wake-up call when Julia Allen, then only 44, sat in a hospital realizing that she had just survived, not one, but two heart attacks on the same day: April 15, 2013.
“[During the ordeal] I was thinking about all the other things that were going on. Who was going to cook dinner tonight? The boys won’t have anyone to help them with their homework,” Allen tells The Root, ticking off the thoughts she had even as she was in pain. “I got this conference call at work; who’s going to do that? I hadn’t gone to the grocery store … all that stuff was going through my mind. If I have to go sit in the hospital for four hours and they tell me nothing’s wrong, I just wasted so much time. I just need to go home and lay down for about an hour, take some ibuprofen and I’ll be fine … that is honestly what I was thinking.”
It was that day when she vowed to change her life—out of necessity, admittedly, more than anything. But since recovering, she has also made it her mission to educate as many women as possible—especially African-American women—so that they will not make the same mistakes she made and suffer unnecessarily.
Allen, who was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and now lives in Charlotte, N.C., was recently chosen as one of nine 2015 national American Heart Association spokeswomen from across the country and is letting her story be heard. “Unfortunately it’s not a group that you want to be selected for because you have to have a heart problem to get into it,” she jokes. “[Each of us has] different heart abnormalities, from heart attacks to stroke to congenital heart defects … [but] I’m excited to use this opportunity to help other women.”
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SOURCE: BREANNA EDWARDS