||Lois Trader of La Habra, California has been twice blessed. In 1993, she was told that there was little hope for her recovery from liver disease. She then joined the UCI Liver Research Department and was one of 370 patients on a then experimental drug called Interferon. After six months of ill health, Lois awoke one morning feeling completely well. "It was truly a miracle" she says, “aided by injecting myself with large doses of Interferon”.
Ten years later while celebrating her 47th birthday, Lois began to feel an annoying tingling in her hand. Then the pain radiated to her upper back. This pain sent Lois to the emergency room and emergency room personnel greeted her with “You’re young and a woman”... as if the pain couldn’t be anything serious.
Though her electrocardiogram was abnormal, she was sent home with a prescription for a medicine to treat acid reflux. She was also told to make an appointment the following week for further testing. Once home, Lois had to deal with what she describes as “horrible back pain” and so she returned to the hospital and was greeted once again with “You’re young and you’re a woman”. The emergency room doctor said, “I’d bet my last nickel that it’s indigestion and you should not be admitted overnight”. Again, she was sent home and she said she was made to feel stupid.
The next day, Lois was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit where she was told to sign release papers for clinical procedures that included angioplasty and open heart surgery. She had a stent placed in her left artery to minimize blockage that had reached 75%. She was also diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Today, living healthy again, Lois now shares her story with other women. She writes and speaks on behalf of women’s heart disease so that other women will not be “made to feel stupid”. Harsh words, indeed, but not as harsh as the reality that heart disease is women’s #1 killer.
Lois has never smoked, did not have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and was physically fit and active. There was no diabetes in her family. However, Lois did have one major risk factor that no one can change: family history. Her father was just 37 when he had his first heart attack. She has written her complete story in a book entitled, HELP… There’s an ELEPHANT ON MY CHEST – Heart Disease From My Point of View. She is dedicating her life to helping women of every age understand their risk of heart disease. Read Lois’ story: www.loistrader.com.
Go to A Woman's Heart" - a poem by Nancy Perez, written as a tribute to friend Lois.