February 25, 2010 News 12 at 6 o'clock
AUGUSTA, Ga -- All week News 12 has brought you stories of surviving a heart attack.
It is part of our 'Smart Heart' week. Today, News 12 introduces us to a woman who's all heart.
There is just no other way to describe Sharon Bolgla; her spirit is larger than life, helping her battle breast cancer and a heart attack just three months apart and all with a smile that's contagious.
A media specialist at Westside High School for more than thirty years, active in both the Jewish community and her many social circles, it's safe to say for many, Sharon Bolgla may be a familiar face and so is her story, but that heart is all her own.
"I'm not through toe tapping yet honey! I'll keep on going!" But, a heart stopping reality hit Sharon last fall; breast cancer last October and a heart attack the day after Christmas. "When people found out I had a heart attack, they said 'Of all the people, not Sharon! Of all the people!' "
"She was lucky and I was lucky." says Sharon's husband of 51 years, Max Bolgla. They celebrated their anniversary the day before we talked with them. It's another year together they almost didn't have.
Max credits a greater power because you see, Sharon had her heart attack the very minute Max stepped out the door to leave for the day, but "I left my sandwich." explains Max. "I stepped out the door and stepped right back in the door."
At the very same moment, Sharon says "I had this crush. Like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I mean I was just crushed. Thank goodness as soon as I felt this pain he came back in the house."
He rushed Sharon to University Hospital. An EKG confirmed she was having a heart attack.
"I said you're kidding!" exclaimed Sharon.
Within two hours, she had her first stint surgically inserted. Three days later, doctors would insert four more. "I never thought for a minute I wasn't going to make it."
Amazing considering both her parents and her brother all died of heart disease; hitting home for Sharon how her family history played a role in her health. "Down the road it might catch up with you. But, I'm still here, I'm still upright."
"What I learned," says Max “is what I've known all my life. we kind of small and it can happen to you, it does."
Today, Sharon is six week post op. "I think I look good for six weeks!"
And there is no question about that and no question that this woman will keep living with a life full of heart.
Sharon is now back driving. She was cleared just last week. She has entered into University's Heart Rehab program. She'll go a few days a week for the next six months. Sharon adds she keeps her positive spirit, all the time, no matter what life deals her and says that along with family and really good friends, can get you through anything.