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Headaches warn of two heart attacks

After two very different heart attacks, Thelma discovered a third heart problem that was causing fatigue. Watch Thelma tell her story below.

Thelma talks about her journey through two heart attacks and atrial fibrillation

In hospital after bowel surgery, all Thelma wanted was some panadol for a headache but when a nurse took her pulse, she hit the alert – Thelma was having a heart attack.

Her second heart attack also started as a headache, but developed into jaw pain, arm pain and sweating so she used her St John’s alarm to call for help.

Further down the track, Thelma’s fatigue was identified as atrial fibrillation, and she’s had to learn deep breathing exercises and to take it easy to get through these episodes of irregular heart beats. 


Shared March 2017


Sadly in October 2021 Thelma passed away. The Heart Foundation sends its condolences to Thelma’s family and friends. In accordance with the wishes of the family we’ve kept Thelma’s story our website so that it may be of support to others.

Please note: the views and opinions of the storyteller and related comments may not necessarily reflect those of the Heart Foundation NZ.

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1 Comment

  • Steve 20 October 2021

    Oh my darling Mom, your sprit has flown but you have created a lifetime of memories for us, you were and Angel on earth, God bless you Mom, I’ll see you again soon, Love, Steve xxx