Volunteering, From the Heart


Theresa Johnson was 33 years old when it happened. She had just finished her daily morning workout. She leaned over in to untie her shoes, sat back upright, and immediately began experiencing all the tell-tale signs of a heart attack. She struggled to catch her breath, felt light-headed and sick, and was seriously concerned that her life was in jeopardy.

Fortunately, she was able to get in touch with her husband and mother and was rushed to UnityPoint Health – Meriter. When she arrived, her care team discovered high protein levels in her bloodwork, and doctors quickly realized she had experienced a heart attack. 

Theresa had three heart-attacks, and she was officially diagnosed as experiencing Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). This condition often goes undetected and unnoticed because people like Theresa, who are in otherwise good health and exercise regularly, often ignore symptoms or do not take them seriously at check-ups.

Since her traumatic experience with SCAD, Theresa has volunteered at the Meriter front desk, assisting patients and visitors with directions, fielding phone calls and helping with other tasks as needed. We are so grateful for Theresa's time, energy and positive outlook on life. She is passionate about her family, which includes four children and her husband, and she is grateful for the opportunity to volunteer and make a difference with us after receiving what she has referred to as "the best care I could have received in my condition."

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