Williams shares story of survival in preparation for tonight’s Heart Walk

Published 11:00 pm Monday, February 18, 2013

Stroke survivor Terri Williams spoke at the 2013 Pike County Heart Association’s Red Cap Survivor Breakfast Saturday morning at First Baptist Church in Troy.

Stroke survivor Teri Williams spoke at the 2013 Pike County Heart Association’s Red Cap Survivor Breakfast Saturday morning at First Baptist Church in Troy.

Teri Williams smiled and laughed Saturday morning at the annual Pike County Heart Association’s Red Cap Survivors Breakfast, but without help from her doctor, friends and husband, her appearance at the breakfast might not have happened.

Williams is a stroke survivor. On the day of her stroke, she noticed something wasn’t right, but continued on and drove herself to work in Montgomery. A friend at work became aware something was wrong with Williams and they went to the hospital right away.

“You know how you feel on a regular basis,” Williams shared with the group that gathered at First Baptist Church. “If you ever get to a point when you don’t feel right and you don’t feel normal, please go see someone.”

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Williams has done well in her recovery process, but still has some short-term memory loss. However, there is nothing wrong with her spirit and sense of humor.

“Joel [Terri’s husband] jokes that we had a lot of first dates,” Williams said with a smile. “We rented the same movie three times because I was sure we hadn’t seen it.”

Williams was invited to share her story of survival as part of the Pike County Heart Association’s celebration of life leading up to the Heart Walk tonight.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and, each year, about 715,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year, according to the American Heart Association.

However, heart disease is preventable and recovery is possible. That is evidenced by the 200 breakfast invitations mailed to local survivors of heart disease this year.

Williams told those at the breakfast that “growing old ain’t for sissies” and “you’ve got to work hard” to be healthy.

Tonight, 20 teams made up of survivors and supporters of the Heart Association will participate in the Pike County Heart Walk from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. at the Troy Parks and Recreation Department. Entertainment will be provided from 6 until 7 p.m. in the gym.

Troy University Dancers and the Xtreme Athletics Dancers and Cheer Teams will perform, along with country music singer Michael McLendon. Several Troy University football players will also be on hand to sign autographs.

Walkers will use the track above the gym.

Donated prizes for the Heart Walk include a Canon camera, two teeth whitening sessions at Dr. Robert Howard’s dental office, a $150 Walmart gift card, a $50 gift certificate at Home Gallery, a $25 Flo’s Kitchen gift card, a grill and other items.

Hamburgers and hotdogs will also be available for all supporters of the 2013 Pike County Heart Walk.

Survivors will open the evening with the first lap around the track.