“I’ve never gotten in to see a doctor so fast in my life.” - Joy Hillstrom

I’ve been a runner for 30-something years. I’ve completed 27 marathons. No one could believe that I had a heart attack, especially me.

I was running on my treadmill and I had this feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. But then I felt a sharp pain shooting down my arm, and I thought, this isn’t something I am going to mess around with.

It all happened so fast. That first night I was in the hospital, my doctor came home from vacation, and the first thing he did was come see me at the hospital. He ended up doing a quintuple bypass.

I love to read so I thought my recovery would be a great chance to catch up on my list of books, but I got bored in a hurry. The first week or two, I’d go for a walk – a block here, a block there. Then I walked up to 2 miles. After that, I’d walk anywhere from 2 to 15 miles. Eventually, I felt like myself again! Five months after my heart attack, I ran the Fox Cities Half Marathon. And I haven’t looked back.