LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After surviving three heart attacks, two minor strokes, and gangrene in her small intestines, an East Texas woman said she had to change her lifestyle.
Within eight years, Emma Ligon suffered from three heart attacks.
"The doctor told me I had one day to live," Ligon said.
Her first two heart attacks weren't as bad as the one she felt on Christmas.
"I kept putting it off," Ligon said. "On Christmas night my sister came over. We played games, and when she left, I went to get into bed. The pain was so severe it knocked me into my headboard, and I went to screaming for my husband."
Once her husband took her to the hospital, she blacked out.
"I didn't feel anything because I was in so much pain that I really didn't realize just how bad it was," Ligon said.
She had to be airlifted to a hospital in Houston where she underwent her 24th surgery.
Ligon discovered that she had more than 90 pecrent of heart blockage.
"I'm just a survivor, and I want to thank God for all of this because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have made it," Ligon said.
When she came back home she was advised to get rehab at CHI St Luke's Health Memorial's heart facility
"They have really helped me," Ligon said. "I mean they really have brought me through."
That's where she started to live an active life.
"I did the machines, but I didn't like the bike," Ligon said. "I'm going to stay with them through the years because they've helped me. I'm 80 years old, so I need that."
Since joining the rehab, she tries to stay busy.
"You cannot live if you aren't active when you get my age," Ligon said. "You can't just sit around."
Now she encourages others her age to do the same.
"Get up off of your buns and move around. Don't just sit there and pity yourself because you're in pain," Ligon said.