PANAMA CITY, Fla. - With every step, Ceceila Jones is getting stronger and her infectious smile only getting bigger, as she recovers from a heart attack she suffered in September.
"I didn't believe when they told me what it was because I had no idea, because I didn't feel no pain, nothing," said Ceceila Jones.
It was nausea and profuse sweating that actually brought her into the ER that day, paired with a feeling that something was off.
"I know my body, I know what I can do and what I can't do," said Jones. "And that feeling I had that day, was just different."
In Ceceila's case, her instinct that something wasn't right proved to be a lifesaver, but the diagnosis still a huge shock.
"The main thing is I thought I was in good shape. I walked up and down stairs for 12 hours a day, every 30 minutes, no problems."
The 64-year-old lover of the outdoors has no family history of the disease and while her job as corrections officer kept on her toes, she admits it kept her stress level high.
"You walk in and you don't know if you're going to come out."
Doctors say signs of a heart attack vary from person to person and aren't always exaggerated like you see on television.
"A lot of people are waiting for that crushing elephant on my chest feeling, but often that doesn't happen," said Dr. Amir Haghighat. "Especially in women."
Jones underwent quadruple bypass surgery following her heart attack and continues her cardiac rehab at Bay Medical Sacred Heart twice a week. But while she learns to slow down her pace, she wants her experience to serve as a wake up call to other women.
"Females, we really have to pay attention to our bodies, because that's why they call it a silent killer, cause you don't know."
Jones graduated from the Cardiac Rehab program at Bay Medical, but continues with their voluntary program twice a week.
She says not only does it help her regain her strength, but helps boost her morale being surrounded by other patients who have been through similar cardiac events.
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