Heart transplant patient: ‘My donor is my hero’

Couriers News | Chicago Sun Times | Denise Moran

ELGIN — In recognition of American Heart Month, the Northern Fox Valley Chapter of Women in Management invited heart transplant survivor Donna Stout of Batavia to talk about her experience at their February meeting at Elgin Country Club, 2575 Weld Road.

Stout, 53, received a heart transplant at age 49 on Nov. 24, 2007, due to dilated cardiomyopathy.

“I never had a medical issue in my life up to that point,” Stout said. “It was a mind-blowing experience.”

By the numbers

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills nearly 500,000 women each year. Since 1979, the death rate for heart disease in men has declined by 17 percent, but it has slightly risen for women.

The symptoms of a heart attack include chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, and other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.