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The Heart of the Matter: Silence deathes in South Carolina

Updated on October 12, 2012

Family of Stroke/ Heart Attack Stories

She lost her grandmother, my Mom due to Heart Disease.
She lost her grandmother, my Mom due to Heart Disease.
She lost her life as well as her mother lost her life in the battle for Heart Disease.
She lost her life as well as her mother lost her life in the battle for Heart Disease.
She never met her grandmother, because she lost the battle with Heart Disease and our mother died of Heart Disease.
She never met her grandmother, because she lost the battle with Heart Disease and our mother died of Heart Disease.
His grandmother, Aunt Ruth suffered a major stroke 5 months before he was born.
His grandmother, Aunt Ruth suffered a major stroke 5 months before he was born.
My Aunt Ruth, who suffered a huge stroke, five months before her grandson was born.
My Aunt Ruth, who suffered a huge stroke, five months before her grandson was born.
Me in 1983, this is August I was born and my grandmother died that January in 1983.
Me in 1983, this is August I was born and my grandmother died that January in 1983.
My grandmother Willievelyn that died of Heart Disease.
My grandmother Willievelyn that died of Heart Disease.
Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren of my Grandmother Willievelyn and her baby sister Aunt Ruth.
Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren of my Grandmother Willievelyn and her baby sister Aunt Ruth.

The induction: A silent and deadly society

Quiet, yes you, could you be quiet for just a moment. Do you hear that? Do you? I know you don't because, honestly I never heard the whisper, the murmur, the unaudible sound that death makes before it takes command of someone. This happens in South Carolina 35 times a day. Yes, as of 2011 35 people die of C.V.D. (cardiovascular disease.) That means in this state alone 1050 people die in a thirty day period. In the health circles South Carolina is known as the Stroke belt, you would absolutely think that would be enough to wake us up, but it is not happening. In my immediate family alone, my aunt suffered a suddenly and almost deadly stroke at the Sunday dinner table in mid-April and in May my mother passed of a heart attack in her sleep. My grandmother also died of a heart attack in her sleep.

My sister had a principal at her school die after suffering two strokes and a heart attack. This the leading killer of South Carolina resident aside Cancer, and the highest numbers in the state come from the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina (Hello, this is us!) It blows me away that as anyone pulls into Bennettsville, South Carolina, there is a banner hanging from the courthouse that promotes their intolerance of Domestic Violence.

Do not misunderstand me Domestic Violence is a very important and necessary issue that needs awareness and I do not want to negate this in anyway. I have written on the issue in a hub. I have had family members that have died and been brutally battered as a result of domestic violence situations. I am not saying take the banner down, but in my eyes, right beside it, if not in front of it should be a C.V.D. banner as well. The truth remains that the discussion is not happening.

I went to visit the local hospital and I found a class that taught you how to eat right, when living with Diabetes for a fee to register for the classes. That was presented on the bulletin board out front, near the guest sign in desk. If you turn a corner, (honestly you could miss it) and there is a board near the right side and it speaks a little on heart disease, but presents no solution. Why is this paper hiding, the irony is that just as it hides in the corner, the issue does so for so many others.

One thing I have learned through experiences that when you brush things off or sweep things under the rug, they don't disappear. They tend to escalate, and if not addressed, can destroy you. This is why the deaths are silent, the screams are unheard, the children are growing up without their parents. The community is devastated and traumatized by the loss.

Thoughts race through their mind, as they try to cipher through the confusion, "What happened? Why is this happening? Could this have been prevented? Is it my fault? What could I have done? What can I do?" The question remains where do we go from here? What adds to my dismay is that the closest heart walk is 45 minutes away.

The truth of the matter is the devastation is just as bad there as it is here, but they have made the decision to no longer be silent victims that result in silent deaths. They are going to fight and though some may loose their lives, they will not have lost them in vain, they will show their struggles and teach others along the way. They will make their struggle count. They will go out sounding the alarms, so that one more person will be made aware.

We will sound the alarms and spread the word. I am not saying do what I say, but I am urging you to do something. Start a heart walk, educate someone, have someone (health care professional) come in and speak to your church, local community meeting, etc. Education, awareness, and a willingness to change where it is needed is key to overcoming issues such as these.

Let us begin to wipe the dust from our eyes and shake the fatigue from our bodies. Let us clear our throats, rise up and be heard. We have a voice and we have the ability to express ourselves and that also is key. Let us try to slow the speed or alarmingly expedite rate of deaths yearly due to this silent killer in South Carolina as well as other states. I have spoken my peace. I will include links for you to check out how heart disease affects us as well as in your area.

For me, I will not allow my daughter to be inducted into this secret and deadly society, which has plagued two generations of our family. The heart of the matter is Grandma was enough, my Mom was enough, no more. One thing my mother left with me was the ability to be healthy and the importance of helping others and bringing awareness to issues. Also the importance of balance along the way. Let us all get to the heart of the matter and overcome this silent and deadly society.

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    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR

      brittvan22 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @Angela, thanks for your words, your comments are something to look forward to and glad I could sound the alarm so to speak, I just think one death is way to many. Thanks for sharing.

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR

      brittvan22 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      @always exploring, thanks for your input it was well appreciated and I feel this issue must be given awareness and as we lose those close our voice for standing against this issue and bringing awareness must be that much louder, not only speaking for ourselves, but those we lost.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      5 years ago from Central Texas

      Definitely a heads-up for all of us. So sorry for your losses and admire your pro-active stance on this killer. Best/Sis

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Heart disease is rampant throughout the USA, You have certainly had your share of pain. Your article is well written and informative. Thank you for sharing..Cheers..

    • brittvan22 profile imageAUTHOR

      brittvan22 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks so very. Much for your kind word. They were much appreciated.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I commend you for shedding light and doing your part for CVD.

      I also send my sincerest of prayers to your dear Mom, Aunt, sister and so many of your loved ones.

      God Bless and I am voting this up.

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