Teen mistook a heart attack for the 'butterflies' of love

Teen mistook a heart attack for the 'butterflies' of love
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A woman has revealed how when she was a teenager she mistook a heart attack for butterflies, after dancing with a boy for the first time.

Ceirra Zeager, now 23, was 14 at the time and revealed that when she got home from a school dance, during which she danced with a boy, she felt “butterflies” in her tummy. Zeager then passed out on the floor where the feeling was accompanied by an “intense burning pain” down her arm – a symptom of a heart attack.

Speaking toInsider, the rural Pennsylvania native explained she was rushed to the hospital after experiencing deep fatigue along with arm pain.

However, when she reached the hospital doctors also dismissed her pain as “teenage anxiety” and declined to give her any medication.

Zeager explained: “It really broke me to hear that because I felt embarrassed that my whole family was there.”

It was recommended that she be transferred to a children’s hospital, where she was immediately rushed to emergency surgery.

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During surgery, doctors found she had suffered a heart attack that resulted from a blood clot passing through a hole in her heart, also known as a patent foramen ovale (PFO).

Doctors found that the teen had unusually “sticky” red blood cells which meant the clot passing through her PFO – a usually harmless hole – meant she suffered a heart attack.

Unfortunately for Zeager, the incident had a life-long impact. She could only attend school for half a day at a time due to fatigue and stress on her heart.

She explained: “I felt like everyone was looking at me like I was a porcelain doll.”

In 2021 after her condition worsened, Zeager discovered she had a “leaky” heart valve that required open heart surgery in February of the same year to rectify.

Zeager explained: “I had this crazy, tragic thing happen to me, and I want to use it for good and raise as much awareness as I can.”

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