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Go Red for Women: A woman's persistence to figure out 'chest flutter' turns out to be heart condition

Posted at 9:37 AM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 09:37:28-05

February is American Heart Month, and the American Heart Association is using its Go Red for Women initiative to increase women’s heart health awareness. RTV6 has partnered with the AHA to give you the information you need to take charge of your heart health all month long. To learn more about Go Red for Women, visit goredforwomen.org, or visit theINDYchannel.com/gored for more of our coverage.

INDIANAPOLIS — It started as just a flutter in her chest, maybe just a few seconds at first.

But when that symptom started lasting longer and longer, Jennifer Pace knew something just wasn't right and today, thanks to her own persistence, she's living a healthier and happier life.

For a woman between the ages of 35 and 45, the average resting heart rate is about 60 to 100 beats per minute. So, when Jennifer Pace's heart race jumped to 210 beats per minute, she knew something wasn't right.

Pace was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or afib, in 2012. The irregular heartbeat condition can lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.

Her symptoms started when she was very young, and she described it like a butterfly in her chest.

"The flapping of a wing, like your heart flopping around in your chest," Pace said.

As Pace got older, the episodes lasted longer, leaving her exhausted and unable to keep up with her kids. It eventually landed her in the emergency room.

Pace underwent an afib ablation, a procedure used to slow down the symptoms. The 44-year-old now rarely has episodes, and the whole family has adapted to a healthier lifestyle.

While their home is already filled with memories, Pace knows that with her newfound knowledge of her diagnosis and her family's focus on health, they'll be adding many more stages of life to their window sill.

One of Pace's daughters has also started experiencing those flutter like symptoms in her chest. She's being monitored, and it's all the more reason the entire family is living a heart-healthy lifestyle.