MVH nurse shares her story, raises heart health awareness

Miami Valley Hospital (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some women have a hard time taking care of themselves because they’re too busy taking care of the people around them.

The story of a local nurse’s life. Linda Raterman, 66, has spent her entire adult career as a Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) nurse.

“I was born here at Miami Valley Hospital and went to school here at Miami Valley for nursing and I’m still here. So, I do have a lot of loyalty,” she jokes about her legacy.

Raterman wears red and an American Heart Association pin as a constant health reminder.

“I’ve added a lot more red to my wardrobe.”

Friday is Go Red For Women Day, something that didn’t mean much to Raterman, personally until 2012.

“I had some discomfort in my chest, but I brushed it off as indigestion,” she explains.

After an assessment with a doctor she was surprised by the unhealthy results of a heart screening, but ignored doctor’s orders thinking she could fix it herself by eating better and exercising.

“A lot of good nurses don’t make good patients,” says Raterman.

Two years later she started to feel dizzy while at work. A co-worker took her blood pressure and the results were sobering.

“My blood pressure was at 200 over 110.”

Two days later she was rushed into surgery.

“I had to have four heart vessels bypassed. The cardiac cath (catheterization) showed I had thee vessels 80 to 90-percent occluded and the fourth had coronary aneurysms,” she recalls.

Fast forward to 2017, she’s back walking the halls at MVH, no longer a patient, but back in her nurse’s uniform with a story to tell.

“It’s a passion of  mine to take good care of people,” she says.

She plans on enjoying life, specifically her grandchildren and work with no plans for retirement.

“At 66, I’m still here. I have the heart for nursing, literally,” she jokes.

One in three women dies from heart disease every year. For warning signs, click here.

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