Woman who suffered stroke at age 26 stresses importance of National Wear Red Day

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Sharon Heno of New Orleans constantly stresses the importance of being healthy mentally and physically to her only daughter Ele. The single mom eats incredibly healthy, works out 5 to 7 times a week, and owns "Behavioral Health Counseling & Consulting" in Metairie.

But the road to success wasn't always an easy one.

Sharon had a stroke when she was only 26 years old.

“Something wasn’t right. I was trying to hang a pair of jeans on a coat hanger. And they would fall to the floor. I would keep picking it up and do it again – and I knew what I was doing did not make sense, but I couldn’t stop myself,” she said.

Her roommate found her and called an ambulance.

“I remember hearing she, 'she’s had a stroke.' It almost seemed when I got brought in, it didn’t make sense to them. They knew what it was, but because of my age – it did not make sense. It would happen to elderly people, not someone in their 20s.”

Doctors started running tests.

“I remember questions he would ask, like where is the light illuminating from, but it just – I just would shake my head, it wasn’t making any sense.”

Sharon had reverted back to a third grade comprehension level. She was also paralyzed head to toe on the right side of her body.

“They didn’t think I would walk again. Much less – live independently or function.”

Sharon's family had to tend to her for a year. But she worked hard to rehabilitate herself.  She had a lot to relearn from brushing her teeth to walking on her own to driving a car.

She also suffered from seizures for some time after the stroke.

One nearly killed her ten years ago, but her daughter, who was only four at the time, called 9-1-1 and EMT's fortunately got there just in time.

Now she's essentially fully-recovered.

She's also graduated from college and graduate school with at 4.0

Doctors believe birth control Sharon used caused a heart murmur that lead to the stroke. She says, back then, they didn't have the materials and information on heart health and risks, that we do now. But instead of focusing on the hard times she encourages women to focus on their health -- to listen to their bodies and heart.


 

Macy’s, a founding national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women®, will offer merchandise, promotions and select in-store events this February, all fashioned to bring awareness and funds to the cause of women’s heart health.

Over the past decade, Macy’s has proudly raised more than $50 million to help fund research and education credited by the American Heart Association with saving 275 lives every day. Macy’s annual Wear Red Sale (February 4-9) will help make American Heart Month more fashionable than ever.

Throughout February, Macy’s will offer a selection of exclusive red dresses by Calvin Klein, Kensie and Thalia, which benefits Go Red For Women, along with a new capsule collection of Ideology active wear including graphic tanks, T-shirts, sports bra and crop pants. Customers will find these limited-edition red dresses and the new active wear collection in select stores and on macys.com in time for National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

"Macy’s is proud to support Go Red For Women in its effort to empower all women with knowledge and tools to take positive action to reduce their risks of heart disease and stroke,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “Macy’s has been a founding national sponsor since 2004 and has raised more than $50 million through efforts including our Wear Red Sale and exclusive red dresses that benefit the cause. New this year, we are pleased to offer a collection of Ideology active wear that supports Go Red – and another opportunity to raise important funds for the fight against heart disease.”

“The American Heart Association is thankful for Macy’s continued support of Go Red For Women and the great work they have done to raise awareness of heart disease in women,” said Bernie Dennis, AHA Chairman and owner of Dennis Associates, LLC, in Acton, Mass. “An estimated 43 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular diseases, and a surprising 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented by taking the right steps. Macy’s helps fund lifesaving research and education that will impact many lives, and when it comes to beating heart disease and stroke, change can be the cure.”

Wear Red Sale

Macy’s invites all customers to help celebrate National Wear Red Day (Feb. 6), with its annual Wear Red Sale in stores from Wednesday, Feb. 4 through Monday, Feb. 9. Customers wearing red or purchasing a newly-designed 2015 Red Dress pin for $2 that benefits Go Red For Women will receive a 20 percent discount on most regular, sale and clearance merchandise or 15 percent discount on fine and fashion jewelry, sale and clearance watches, and select home items.

Macy’s will continue to sell the Red Dress pin and accompanying discount through Monday, Feb.16.  One hundred percent of all pin sales are donated to Go Red For Women. Last year alone, Macy’s sold more than 1.1 million Red Dress pins, raising $2.3 million for Go Red For Women. Additional merchandise exclusions can apply.

Macy’s Exclusive Red Dresses

This February, Macy’s introduces three new exclusive red dresses for American Heart Month created by Calvin Klein, Kensie and Thalia. These limited-edition dresses are available at select Macy’s stores and on macys.com/GoRed, and retail from $79.99 to $99, with 10 percent of the purchase price of each item sold from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28 (Calvin Klein and Thalia) and March 31, 2015 (Kensie) donated to Go Red For Women.

Ideology Capsule Collection Active Wear

New this year, Macy’s Ideology active wear line will feature a capsule collection of eight exclusive pieces that benefit the cause. From Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 10 percent of the sale price of the graphic tanks, t-shirts, crop pants and sports bra will be donated to Go Red For Women.

The American Heart Association’s® Go Red For Women® Red Dress Collection™ 2015, presented by Macy’s

Macy’s is the proud presenting sponsor of the 2015 Red Dress Collection kicking off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to celebrate a new era in women’s heart health. On Feb. 12 at Lincoln Center in New York City, the Red Dress Collection will showcase a group of powerful celebrity women representing different ages and backgrounds showcasing emerging and established designers. The Red Dress Collection has kicked off Fashion Week since 2003 and this year’s show will again feature a number of well-known women including Alexa Ray Joel, Catt Sadler, Ciara, Jane Seymour, Star Jones, Thalia and Zendaya, among many others. Three dresses created by  emerging fashion incubator designers based in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, housed at Macy’s department stores, will be featured on the runway modeled by Carla Hall, Irina Pantaeva and Cynthia Bailey.

Go Red For Women Luncheons

Go Red For Women Luncheons take place in 186 cities across the country, raising much-needed funds for the cause. Luncheon guests nationwide will receive a $10 Macy’s gift card.  Attendees of select events will be eligible to win a $250 Macy’s gift card, and Estee Lauder will return again this year to offer 3-Minute Beauty services.

For more information about Macy’s programs to support Go Red For Women, visit macys.com/gored.

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