A CT scan in March 2015 to diagnose a gastrointestinal problem revealed that Sherri Blunk had a “shadow on her heart.” The GI doctor recommended she get to a cardiologist as soon as possible.

 

“What a shock it was when the technician brought the doctor into the room during the test,” Blunk said. “The doctor took a look at the screen and told me that I had a golf ball-size tumor taking up almost my entire left atrium [one of the two upper chambers in the heart]. I could not even comprehend this. It was like a punch to the gut.”

 

Blunk underwent open-heart surgery to remove the tumor on April 1, 2015, but developed a subclavian vein thrombosis, a serious condition where one or more blood clots form in the blood vessels or heart. When that happens, the clot can block blood flow where it forms, or it can break loose and travel elsewhere in the body. If a moving clot gets stuck in a critical area, it can cause life-threatening conditions, including stroke and heart attack.

 

Initially, Blunk was told that she would most likely require another surgery to resolve the thrombosis, but fortunately, it began to dissolve with medication. She also credits her faith as a healing power.

 

“I definitely can say that I listen to my body now, and I have learned to trust my instincts regarding my health,” she said. “I am thankful for good health and that I get more time on earth to spend with my family and loved ones.”

 

See all of the survivors featured in the May issue of AY Magazine here.

 

Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Benton Event Center

heart.org/centralargored