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Alexandra Richter

Alexandra Richter

Alexandra Richter is a young woman wearing a purple shirt and white plants. She poses from her knees up, in front of a lake.

February is National Heart Month, and in my role as the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Director for Palm Beach County, saying I was busy was an understatement. My whole calendar was filled with activities, events and meetings.

I had been recently promoted to this position, and I was going a mile a minute to make sure everything was perfect, despite the fact that my body was telling me to slow down. I had been dealing with fatigue and momentary vision loss, but I just chalked it up to stress. I actually thought it was somewhat normal with how busy I had been, and I was almost embarrassed to ask for medical care. That would certainly change.

I remember it clearly. It was the day before Valentine’s Day, and I was at work and sitting in a meeting. I started to feel the same symptoms of fatigue and vision loss, but this time was different. They were so severe, I couldn’t ignore them. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, but I never made it. I fainted and my supervisor immediately called 911.

I woke up in an ambulance, and I couldn’t believe I was there. I thought it was a little ridiculous that I would be receiving this level of medical attention. Luckily, the paramedics knew better, and I was taken to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center where I was finally able to understand the seriousness of my condition.

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