Young Heart Attack Survivor Seeks Treatment for Smoking
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Smoking is a painfully addictive habit – and something that was nearly fatal for Shelly, who at just 28 suffered a heart attack. She joins The Doctors in hopes of finally quitting smoking once and for all.
“I never imagined my life would get to this point. You hear about a lot of people that are addicted to smoking, but in my case it’s a matter of life and death,” she shares. “That next cigarette I pick up could result in me having a massive heart attack.”
Shelly began smoking at around 14-years-old and by the time she was 19, she was smoking around a quarter of a pack a day. She began to gain weight and experience chronic bronchitis and colds. When she was 28, Shelly began having chest pains and suffered a massive heart attack, called a widow-maker, which has a very low survival rate.
Following her heart attack, she was able to quit for 7 months, but after a series of hardships – losing her job, her home and her husband – she is now smoking again, up to a pack a day.
Shelly says she thinks about smoking 99 percent of the day and loves “the rush and sense of euphoria” it gives her. “About every hour, I’m outside smoking,” she reveals.
At 32, she has a litany of health issues she’s now battling, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Her doctor warns her that if she has another heart attack, she will likely not survive.
The Doctors send Shelly to see interventional cardiologist Dr. Mehran Khorsandi, who says it’s unlikely that she will live to an old age, unless she modifies her risk factors and makes major life changes. They also employ the help of Rocky Rosen, a man known as “the cigarette whisperer,” in an attempt to help her finally quit smoking for good.
Find out below if Shelly was successful. Plus, we surprise her and her new fiancé with two amazing gifts that can help them lead a healthier lifestyle.
If you or a loved one is trying to quit smoking, there are many resources available to help. Log on to SmokeFree.gov to get started.