Saturday morning’s Jazz Brunch was no ordinary brunch at New World Landing as The Links ladies dressed in red, partnered with Cardiology Consultants and Boston Scientific ‘Close the Gap Program’ to raise the awareness of cardiovascular disease and address risk factors important to African American women.
To begin the event, blood pressure readings were given by Kalyn O’Connor and Ali Loftin, University of West Florida Nursing Students with musical entertainment provided by the Belmont Youth Orchestra.
As the participants enjoyed a healthy meal including grilled chicken, quiche, turkey bacon, fresh fruit, juices and coffee, Crystal Collins Spencer gave her personal testimony of heart disease and how it affected her family. “My father was an attorney. I followed him everywhere. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I loved the time with my dad and mom. While I was in law school, late one night my dad called and we talked. He asked me how was I doing and I replied fine. He said to me ‘sweetheart, you’ve never wanted for anything, you’ve never needed anything, you’ve never known heartache and you’ve never known death.” No matter what life throws at you, if you want this law degree you will get it.’ After crying and telling him that I did, I was tested. At four am I received a call that my father had had a heart attack. He was one month away from his 56th birthday.” Spencer went on to tell of her brother and mother who also had heart disease and heart attacks. “One day my phone rang and I was told everything is alright but your mom is having a heart attack.” After having surgery and treatments, Spencer went on to say that “I’m here to tell you that my beautiful 82 year old mother has her dancing shoes and is going to the ball with me.”
Speaker for the occasion was Dr. Thanh H. Duong-Wagner, Md. “About two years ago, I found my love. I’m an educator and I love presenting data,” she said. And after a meal you can become quite sleepy so I’ve prepared date that will require attention.” Dr. Wagner presented a number of graphs showing the rate of cardiovascular disease vs cancer and chronic liver disease. “Cardiovascular disease is not just for old people anymore. It does affect young people also. At the beginning in earlier years, men are more targeted but as they get older women become more targeted.
“Cardiovascular disease increases faster than the rate of cancer in males as well as females. But the rate is higher in in females being 420,000 and 390,000 in male deaths. Lack of awareness is the primary cause of deaths. “Black females have a higher death rate than white females.” Whenever we see a patient with a weak heart, we always think of the reversible causes. When we find that is reversible, the likelihood of the patient recovering is very good,” stated Dr. Wagner.
Dr.Duong- Wagner specializes in Cardiovascular Disease with the Cardiology Consultants Medical Group