On February 16th, Lori Bunjer’s story will be told as the Featured Survivor at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Event in Sioux Falls.
The event is held to show support for mothers, daughters, sisters and friends at risk of heart disease. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year—more than all cancers combined. Fortunately, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. The Go Red For Women event inspires women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives.
Lori and her husband Larry have lived in the Lennox community since they were married in 1978. Lori grew up in Tea. She and her husband have two children, Elizabeth (Betsy) and Michelle, both now married with families of their own.
Lori’s survivor story began in the spring of 2015 shortly after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Lori said, “We went to celebrate Larry’s birthday at the end of April and sat outside on a patio for supper. On the way home, I was short of breath and my chest hurt a little. I assumed it was due to the cool air and the pneumonia. When I didn’t feel any better the next morning, I went to my doctor. He did blood work, and less than an hour later, I got a call from him saying it was my heart and I needed to get to the ER.”
Lori said that in hindsight, there were warning signs.
She said, “ I was having pain in my left shoulder for a week or so.”
Lori has also been a Type 1 diabetic for 47 years, which could have played a factor. She added that her mother’s family had a history of heart problems.
From that first ER visit to April, 2016, Lori had four stents. A stent is placed in an artery as part of a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty. PCI restores blood flow through narrow or blocked arteries.
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