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One mended heart bleeds red for healthy heart awareness

Albany, GA

Jessica Fairley

Many across the country are layering themselves in red in honor of American Heart Health Awareness month.

Medical professionals are stressing that people pay close attention to the signs of their bodies.

One man didn't and it almost cost him his life.

Back in 2000, Sam and Betty Foster led an active lifestyle. They’d go dancing or walking but Sam started to notice that he had shoulder pains and other abnormal symptoms.

“I would have shortness of breath. I was in denial,” said Sam Foster, a double bypass survivor.

He ignored the signs of his body, but his wife Betty knew he should seek medical help.

“I just kept nagging him until he would go to the doctor,” said Betty Foster.

After the first doctor gave her husband a clean bill of health, Betty insisted that he get a second opinion.

“He immediately sent him to get a stress test, a cauterization and right into surgery. The surgeon that operated said they had to get to his heart before he had the heart attack or they never could,” said Betty Foster.

Now years after the heart surgery, Mr. Foster says it was his wife who saved his life.

Since joining Phoebe’s Mending Hearts program in 2001, Sam and Betty Foster has helped many others recover from their surgeries. They make regular visits to heart surgery patients while providing advice for a quick recovery.

Medical professionals say whenever someone notices abnormal symptoms in their body; they should pay close attention and seek help.

“Anytime anybody has any type of heaviness, tightening, or squeezing in the chest, especially if it moves towards the shoulders, the arms, the neck, those are things that need to be addressed immediately,” said Dr. Mark Cohen, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Cohen says it's critically important to know your cholesterol, know what your blood pressure is, exercise regularly and avoid smoking.

Throughout the month of February Mending Heart members will wear red every Friday for heart health awareness.

View full story at the FOX 31 website.

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