PICKENS COUNTY — The actions of a co-worker are all that separated Tricia Garrett from death on May 29, County officials said.
When she began experiencing discomfort after reporting to work at the Pickens County Clerk’s Office, Garrett thought it was indigestion and asked coworkers for an antacid. Amy Gilstrap, whose father recently suffered a heart attack, became concerned and sprang into action.
“I’d gone upstairs to get a Sprite, and I wound up getting sick, so I went to lie down on a sofa,” Garrett said. “That’s when I heard Amy talking in the hallway. She was worried and had come to check on me.”
Gilstrap told Garrett they were going to the ER and transported her there herself.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, Garrett had 100 percent blockage of the left main artery (LAD). This type of heart attack is commonly referred to as the “widow maker” because of its high fatality rate without immediate medical treatment.
Garrett said she would not have gone to the hospital if not for her coworker’s prompting.
“I’m just so thankful for her intuition and quick response,” she said. “She literally saved my life, and I’ll never forget it.”
Garrett has not yet been cleared by her cardiologist to return to work but is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.
She urges others to pay close attention to the first sign of symptoms and to speak up if they notice someone else ignoring the symptoms of a heart attack.