ANCHORAGE –  If laughter is the best medicine, Sue Gaston is quickly on her way to recovery with her daughter Charlotte and friend Lori Potter by her side.


“I am so glad to be here talking to you,” Sue chuckled.


Two weeks ago — on Friday the 13th— Sue shoveled snow from her sidewalk then noticed she wasn’t feeling well. After a few minutes the pressure in her chest didn’t let up and that’s when she knew.


“The minute I got up and got sick I said, ‘That’s it, I’m having a heart attack,’” Sue explained.


Charlotte was at dinner with friends when her mother called. She called Lori to go over to the home until help arrived. Charlotte called 911, then rushed to the hospital.


“I was so afraid I was never going to talk to her again,” Charlotte said tearing up. “I wanted to make sure someone was there with her.”


Medics took Sue to Alaska Regional Hospital where doctors told her it was an LAD heart attack—one they call a “widow maker.”


February is American Heart Month. The American Heart Association’s goal is to raise awareness about heart disease, which is the number one killer of both men and women nationwide.


Each year 610,000 people die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.


Gaston is a healthy, active 63-year-old woman but knows heart disease runs in her family.


“My father died at 46 of his third heart attack. That was before we knew what we know now. There wasn’t information like that before.”


She’s been to several of the American Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women luncheons, where they’ve talked about the signs of a heart attack; chest or upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea and light headedness.


Gaston said she wouldn’t be here today if she didn’t have that information, which led to her quick actions and the fire department’s fast response.


“My course in my life has always been good, so I’m glad to have more of it. To know that if the purpose is today, I’m real glad to be here, that’s for sure.”


National Wear Red Day is Friday, Feb. 3. The Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women luncheon is March 1 at the.


KTVA 11’s Heather Hintze can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.


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