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Artery blockage found in time for local woman

Valentine’s Day doesn’t always fall on February 14. For a local 28-year-old wife and mother, Valentine’s Day came on May 20 last year.

When treatment for symptoms indicative of asthma or acid reflux did not help, Kelley Mullins’ physicians did some additional tests and found that she had 70- to 80-percent blockage in three arteries leading from her heart.

“It wasn’t the best news in the world, but it meant that now something could be done,” Mullins said. “I’d had all kinds of pain and discomfort. That was not easy with a family and a job.”

By August, three months after her successful open-heart surgery, Mullins was able to take care of her daughter and return to work at the Alabama Credit Union.

“Today, I feel great,” she said. “I have to watch my diet and make sure I get exercise. I am still on some medications, and I continue with regular doctor visits, but I don’t mind.

“On my Mom’s side of our family, both of my grandparents and my great-grandparents suffered with heart problems. My grandfather passed away in his mid-50s, so I was lucky that my problems were diagnosed while I was young.”

Mullins, a 2003 University of Alabama graduate, will be among a group of heart-smart survivors and health care professionals who will discuss heart health at any age, how to have it, how to keep it and how to recognize heart danger signs on Tuesday, Feb. 9, from 7 to 9 p.m, at the Bryant Conference Center at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Dr. Warren Holley of Cardiology Associates of West Alabama, as well as representatives from the American Heart Association will all participate and answer questions.

The Good Heart Health At Any Age program is free and open to the public. Starting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the discussion, there will be free heart health screenings.

The program is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama. For more information, call (205) 348-6482.