American Heart Walk slated for Feb. 26

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2000

Staff Writer

Jan. 26, 2000 11 PM

Pike County ranks above average in victims of heart disease.

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According to statistics, 42 percent of deaths occurring in the county are due to heart attacks and stroke.

Across Alabama, the average is 40 percent.

"Heart disease and stroke are our number one killers in Pike County," said Jimbo Shirley, who serves on the board for the local chapter of the American Heart Association.

Shirley said the organization’s goal is to increase awareness and raise money for research that will prevent the percentage of heart disease-related deaths from increasing.

And, the American Heart Walk slated for Feb. 26 should help accomplish both goals.

The walk, which will start at 8 a.m., already has 40 teams registered to participate.

One of the goals, Shirley said, is to make sure paramedics have defibrillators.

Dr. Michael Gordon, chief of cardio-pulmonary at Edge Regional Medical Center, has some things he wants to accomplish.

When he came to Troy last summer, he found many of the health professionals did not have the life support training they need. He plans to change things so all the nurses at the hospital have advanced cardia life support and his office personnel receive basic life support training.

"It gets to be a real issue," Gordon said to the Troy Rotary Club this week. "If we can stretch it (death) out 10 to 15 years."

Being trained to stop a heart attack early can mean the difference between life and death.

And, there are plenty who are proof of that and will participate in the Heart Walk. Participating survivors will receive red hats.