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For Heart Hospital of Austin patient Melissa Baethge, a stress test may have saved her life. Baethge is a wife, mother to three children and an active individual. On her 49th birthday, she celebrated with her colleagues, but when she returned to her office, she experienced shortness of breath and pressure in her chest. After a while, most of her symptoms subsided; however, she still felt a weight on her chest and opted to schedule an appointment the next day with her general physician.

Her physician recommended she conduct an electrocardiogram (EKG), and she was referred to Stanley Wang, M.D., a clinical cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin. Dr. Wang reviewed her EKG and ordered blood work—both of which gave him cause for concern. Three days later, Baethge conducted an exercise stress test in Dr. Wang’s office. The test gathers information about how your heart works during physical activity, and it usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored.

During this test, Baethge experienced a heart attack and was rushed to Heart Hospital of Austin, where a stent was placed in one of her arteries with a critical 90 percent blockage. If she had experienced a heart attack of this nature anywhere else, she likely would not have survived.

Now a heart attack survivor, Baethge’s mission is to educate women about the warning signs of a heart attack. She is an advocate of heart screenings, and she is the American Heart Association’s 2015 Featured Survivor. As a result of her advocacy, a HeartSaver CT revealed an underlying cardiac issue in one of her sisters.

To calculate your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, or to contact Heart Hospital of Austin to learn more about tests available to measure your heart health, please visit HeartHospitalofAustin.com.

KVUE-TV (ABC) recently spoke with Baethge to learn more about her treatment and recovery. To watch her story, please click here.

Additionally, KTBC-TV (FOX) spoke with Baethge. To view that interview, please click here.

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