Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune battles heart disease

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune did its part to honor National Wear Red Day Friday.

The day is meant to raise awareness for the prevention of heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, but it often goes undiagnosed until it’s too late.

The Naval Medical Center devoted the day to preparing for Heart Health Month.

Lieutenant Commander Cicely Anne Dye,  a cardiologist at the center, said heart health is sometimes overlooked among military members.

“Maintaining fitness and maintaining mental health is very important to us,” said Dye. “Not only so we can perform our mission, but also so they can continue on and live long healthy lives afterwards.”

The center gave out pedometers and signed staff up for a 5k race to get them out and moving for themselves.

For some, like heart attack survivor Cornelius Rowe, the day took on a different meaning.

“Scary, it was very scary,” said Rowe. “I never expected, because I’m in the healthcare community that I would develop heart disease. And after suffering a heart attack, I never imagined that I would end up having to have open heart surgery.”

Lieutenant Commander Dye is Rowe’s cardiologist, and they both want to pass on their advice about heart disease so it can be prevented before it turns deadly.

“It can happen to anyone,” said Rowe. “And at the first sign of any symptom, get it checked.”

Eighty percent of cardiac events can be prevented, so take the opportunity to get a heart test and get out and moving this month.

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