A Story from the Heart - featuring ShantaQuilette Carter Williams
The journey of healing after surviving a heart attack and stroke is not easy, but I’m doing it daily. At 39, I was practicing healthy habits, like exercising daily and eating balanced meals, but in 2018, following my usual daily run, I suffered a heart attack. Nine months later, I collapsed at work due to a stroke.
I didn’t see it coming, but I also wasn’t completely surprised – I’d had symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, and palpitations before, but always attributed them to the flu or other ailments. As it turns out, health can look different for everyone, and no journey is the same. While I was living an active lifestyle, I was also facing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which contributed to my heart health events. After my stroke, I faced years of rehabilitation, including speech and occupational therapy, and the healing journey wasn’t easy at first. There’s nothing like coming face to face with your own mortality, but through the process I realized that being here for my family was the most important thing, and that drove me to take small steps to improve my overall health.
I am so intentional in everything I do now and recognize that eating well and exercising are just a few puzzle pieces that make up my overall wellness. Now, I take my vitals daily, get bloodwork done twice a year, and meet with my cardiologist and neurologist regularly. I exercise daily, meditate, and rest when I need to.
Today, I live to the beat by putting myself first to do good for others – I love speaking to others about heart health, sharing tips for taking care of yourself with my community on Tik Tok, and most of all spending time with my family.
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