Naesha Parks is acutely aware of every single beat of her heart.
She wasn’t always. On a fateful day in late 2008, she kissed her 10-day old son goodbye and went to McDonald’s with a friend.
She’d been feeling cooped up, she said, and needed to get out of the house.
But at the restaurant, she began feeling bad, like she wanted to go home and sleep. She start sweating profusely.
“I normally don’t sweat,” she said.
She remembered a friend she hadn’t spoken to in years, who described the sensations of his heart attack as feeling like an elephant was sitting on his chest. And that’s when she begged her friend to call 911.
Parks has no memory of the next three days, when the doctors removed blood clots from her arteries. When her arteries began to shred, her surgeon, Dr. Vinayak Kamath, gave her a 5 percent chance to live.