The Late Eileen Williams
Eileen survived a heart attack in 1997, but developed Type II Diabetes. While she continued to receive medical treatment for ongoing heart-related issues, it didn't slow down her commitment to WomenHeart.
After becoming trained as a WomenHeart Champion in 2005, Eileen began work as a volunteer community educator in the Northern Virginia area, informing people about heart disease in women.
Eileen put her experience as a volunteer EMS Chief and Paramedic with her local volunteer fire department to good use by training paramedics how to recognize the signs of heart disease in women patients they treat on an emergency basis. She credited this training with having saved the lives of at least two women.
In addition to her training sessions, Eileen was also active with the WomenHeart HeartScarves program.
Many of you may know Eileen from Facebook. Eileen had been especially helpful in setting up online communities of WomenHeart Champions, including the HeartScarves Facebook Group.
Eileen said one of the most surprising things she experienced as a WomenHeart Champion were the number of close friendships she developed with other WomenHeart Champions. "When I completed my Symposium training," says Eileen, "It was like I instantly had sixty new best friends."
We asked Eileen what advice she would give to a woman who was newly diagnosed with heart disease. Eileen said it is most important to be an informed consumer, and to advocate for your own heart health care with your medical team.
Of Manassas, VA, Eileen passed peacefully in her home on Saturday, April 1, 2017. We're so appreciative of everything Eileen gave in support of other women and hope that her life encourages other heart disease survivors to follow her example. Below is a video that looks at Eileen's role in the Heart Truth campaign. We want to thank Eileen and her family for everything she accomplished to further our mission for women's heart health.