Heart disease survivor shares the story of her battle


    Heart disease survivor shares her battle. / Photo: Danielle Ledbetter

    For Jonita Coleman, it was just another day of nursing classes at Albany Technical College.

    "We were doing check-offs, the student that was listening to me realized that my heart didn't sound like what we had been studying in class," said Coleman.

    After the teacher listened to her heart, she suggested Coleman get checked out.

    "I went to the doctor and diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse," she said.

    After a few years on medicines, something changed.

    "I started having shortness of breath really bad and I'm not listening to my body and it's trying to tell me," said Coleman.

    She ended up having to get a mitral valve replacement.

    After surgery, there were some complications and she spent a short amount of time on life support.

    "Here I am at that time in my early thirties, I'm thinking to myself, heart surgery? I'm too young, I'm too this, I'm too that," she said.

    Things got better for a few years, until one day while she was at work.

    People were asking her if she was okay and she said yes, because she thought every thing was fine.

    "Little did I know the whole day I had worked I had a very low heart rate, about 28 beats per minute," she said.

    She rushed to the hospital.

    "My emergency room turned into a scene out of E.R., I'm talking about doctors were running in crash carts coming in, they putting pads on me," said Coleman.

    Coleman woke up with a pacemaker.

    Now, she's thriving and hoping to use her story to encourage others.

    "Listen to your heart, I know that probably sounds crazy."

    On Saturday, Coleman will be speaking at the 'Love your Heart' event at ASU West.

    The event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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