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Saved By a Hotdog

The last thing on Lisa Thurston’s mind was a heart attack. The 43-year-old mother of three boys didn’t think she was old enough. But, that’s what happened on September 11, 2010.

“I never really felt bad, maybe just tired, but I thought that was from being a mom,” says Lisa.

Lisa remembers stopping by a convenience store for a hotdog and soda. After taking one bite, she knew something was wrong. “I started choking and experienced tremendous pressure in my chest and back,” she recalls. “I spit out the hotdog but the symptoms continued.”

A friend drove Lisa to the Emergency Room at North Kansas City Hospital. Tests revealed a heart attack. Following surgery and a period of healing, Lisa started cardiac rehabilitation

“Other patients in the program were much older than me so it all felt pretty unbelievable,” says Lisa. “I was scared and still in shock when I started rehab, but the staff put me at ease with lots of individualized attention.”

With rehab behind her, Lisa says she feels 100% better.

“I know it sounds crazy, but I really believe a hotdog saved my life,” she laughs.

Photo: A heart attack slowed down Lisa Thurston at 43, but now she is back to enjoying activities with her husband and three sons, including 14-year-old Ryan.

Cardiac Patient Stories

  • Saved By a Hotdog