STORIES FROM THE HEART: Pregnancy masked her heart failure; now she helps warn others about heart disease
When Jill Russell started feeling chest pains late in her pregnancy, her doctor offered a simple explanation. It was probably just anxiety over the arrival of her daughter.
Relax, she was told.
Jill figured that made sense. After all, before becoming pregnant, she was the epitome of good health – at 29, she’d always been active and had no family history of heart disease or high blood pressure. Her pregnancy had been relatively symptom-free, too, except for some recent swelling.
Sure enough, the pressure subsided after a few hours. Yet Jill spent the final two weeks of her pregnancy feeling very uncomfortable. The swelling was worse, especially in her legs and feet, and they hurt. Her delivery turned problematic, too. While her daughter was fine, Jill hemorrhaged and needed additional intravenous fluids. (more…)