Nurse (Issoire, France)

Emilie, 36 years old

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I lost my husband suddenly in July 2019. After he passed away, I had treatment with a psychiatrist. We had three young daughters and I had to keep fighting for them. I didn’t smoke, but was very stressed by all the things I had to take on by myself. In September 2019, about two months after my husband died, I was having a calm day at home with my girls. I had all the symptoms of a heart attack. I work in cardiology and I know these signs well. First, I had pain in my lower chest that felt like a stomachache. Then this morphed into pressure and tightness in my chest. After that, I felt pain and numbness in my left arm and pain in my jaw that finally radiated into my back. I called the EMS. My electrocardiogram readings had changed and my troponin levels had increased. I was admitted to intensive care immediately with a suspected heart attack. But the coronary angiography was negative. In reality, it was a stress—or takotsubo—cardiomyopathy. My heart had been broken by my husband’s death. Things like this don’t just happen to other people. I knew the symptoms since I’m a cardiology nurse. So I want my story to help other women listen to their bodies and get help when they feel unusual or persistent cardiac symptoms. Thank you to Women’s Cardiovascular Healthcare Foundation (Agir pour le Cœur des Femmes) for the work they’re doing.




Flora, 39 years old

Baker in Villefranche de Rouergue, France

I had a huge shock when my daughter was born seven years ago. She was my second child. My first birth went smoothly, so I wasn’t worried about anything in particular. I worked until two weeks before my due date and was pretty proud of how my pregnancy had gone. When I got to the maternity ward at [...]



Cendrine, 34 years old

Cleaner from Béthune, France

“My leg was hurting for several days. Then slowly my foot started turning blue. I ended up not being able to put any weight on it. My doctor sent me to the hospital. I’ve been smoking around one and a half packs a day since I was 16 and I’ve been taking the pill for about the same amount of [...]



Nathalie, 51 years old

Dr. A., an emergency physician, recounted the heartbreaking story of Christine, aged 46, and shared the experience of her son who wanted to send an alert to all women who don’t take good enough care of themselves. 1:28 a.m.: a call came into emergency services. “Come quick, it’s an emergency, [...]


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