Pamela Detrow of Capitol Hill collapsed a year and a half ago while on vacation in Missouri and was rushed to a hospital. She was diagnosed with having an anxiety attack and gave her some anti-anxiety medication.
The married mother flew home to D.C. and saw a cardiologist. They performed a sonogram of her heart and could see something was clearly wrong.
It turns out she has a heart disease, a form of cardiomyopathy. Her heart is misshapen.
Reknown Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes is on the governing board of Womenheart, the national coalition for women with heart disease. The group brought in Detrow and 49 other women from across the country to D.C. to help raise awareness and to push for medical research of the number one killer of women.
The 50 women all heart disease survivors will descend upon Capitol Hill Tuesday. They range in age from their early 30's to their late 70's. They scheduled 102 appointments with lawmakers hoping the small meetings will make a big difference.
The women say getting more research specific to women – who have different symptoms, smaller vessels and different hormones – is a race against time.