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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Woman thinks of attack as start of second chance

“It’s probably the best thing that has ever happened to me and my family,” Post Falls resident Camille King said.

She wasn’t talking about winning the lottery or taking a dream vacation. The best thing that has happened to King was the heart attack she had last July at age 41.

Immediately after the attack, King retreated to her basement. She was depressed and afraid to sleep. What if she never woke up?

A doctor visiting her place of business suggested King visit the Heart Attack Prevention Clinic – a recommendation that changed her life.

Blood work done at the clinic told King she should change her diet. She eats no more than 4 ounces of protein a day now, and she has replaced “white food,” such as sugar, bread, rice and potatoes, with whole grains. King, her husband and son visit Green Bluff often to pick fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since her first appointment at the clinic in September, King’s cholesterol has dropped from 253 to 148. She has lost 45 pounds off her 5-foot 5-inch frame, going from 243 pounds to 198.

Although she was never sedentary, King now walks 2 miles six days a week with her son and dog. She’s also able to jump on her son’s trampoline.

“I would have been over the weight limit on it before,” King joked.

This spring, she walked Bloomsday and the Spring Dash – her first time participating in organized fitness events. Dr. Bradley Bale, the clinic founder, called to congratulate King after the races.

For inspiration, King subscribes to Health and Fitness magazines, even though they “have skinny little people on the cover,” she said.

King considers July 19, 2004, the day of her heart attack, her “second birthday.”

“It’s like a do-over,” she said. “Not a lot of people get that.”

What also has come with her new lifestyle is peace of mind.

“I was really nuts after my heart attack. ‘Oh my gosh, when is my next one going to happen?’ ” she said.

“Dr. Bale said we can change this. We can reverse it,” King said. “I know that I won’t have another one.”

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