Heart Health and Heroism

By Augusta VargasMarch 1, 2022

Heart Health and Heroism
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FHL MWR employee Melissa Lazzarini was the guest speaker for the Go Red for Women event on March 3, 2022. She shared her experience surviving a heart attack and gave a few pointers on heart health and recovery. (Photo Credit: Augusta Vargas) VIEW ORIGINAL
Heart Health and Heroism
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Community members and employees, enjoyed a one mile walk to support the Go Red for Women event, a movement launched by the American Heart Association in support of women’s heart health. (Photo Credit: Augusta Vargas) VIEW ORIGINAL

MWR Employee Melissa Lazzarini was the guest speaker for the Fort Hunter Liggett’s Go Red for Women Walk, March 3, 2022. Lazzarini shared her harrowing experience from a massive heart attack three years ago.

She was airlifted to the Salinas Valley Hospital for an emergency quadruple bypass surgery brought on by poor eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Lazzarini said, “In spite of the pain shooting down my right arm, and the tremendous pain in my upper back, it never occurred to me that I was having a heart attack!”

At the hospital, she underwent immediate open-heart bypass surgery after the attempt to insert stents into her arteries had failed. This frightening experience prompted Lazzarini to take charge of her eating habits by committing to a plant-based, whole grain diet. Lazzarini credited her strong family bonds as one of the main influences behind her commitment.

Lazzarini ended her presentation on a warning note: ”I overheard a doctor comment on how his patients often complained about having to commit to an extreme diet regimen.” His response was, “What’s EXTREME is having your chest sawn open; your heart removed, and your arteries replaced!”

The fight to end cardiovascular disease worldwide is an ongoing issue, and as a global effort to shed light on Women’s heart health, the American Heart Association launched the Go Red for Women campaign in 2004 with hopes of eliminating women's heart disease on an international scale. Fort Hunter Liggett has been a proud supporter of this campaign since 2012.

For information on how the American Heart Association can help you live a healthier lifestyle, contact their national center at 1-800-242-8721 or online at heart.org.