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Feb 7, 2014 3:22 PM by Allison Alexander

Doctors say healthy, active man was a ticking time bomb

It's a fact that 1,100 women will die of heart disease each day, but there are things women can do to change that.

Millie Kooistra knows first hand the importance of doing what you can do to keep you heart healthy in the future.

Kooistra, a nurse in Terre Haute, Indiana's Union Hospital Cardiac Rehab Department, and other staff members work to help people change their lifestyles after a heart attack.

"Definitely as you age your risk is only going to get higher to have heart disease," Kooistra says.

"We've had people coming in in walkers and then walking out, so it does absolutely make a difference," adds nurse Susan Holmes.

In honor of heart month, News 4 Tucson will be bringing you stories about the importance of heart health.

By all accounts Ken Krapf was a healthy husband and father who regularly worked out. But in reality, he was a ticking time-bomb.

Cardiologist Navin Kadia says, "Sometimes people don't find out until it's too late, Mr. Krapf found out just in time." Ken Krapf was doing all the right things in terms of his eating habits and having an active lifestyle; but his doctor at Carondelet says Krapf's genetics nearly cost him his life. "Ken didn't have the typical risk factors.

He's not a smoker, doesn't have high blood pressure or cholesterol, but he does have family history and sometimes that one risk factor can be enough." In Krapf's case, it was enough.

He had 99% blockage of his heart, what's called the widow-maker, meaning he literally could have died at any moment. Krapf says, "as I look back on it from the start, I can see there were some signs, like shortness of breath." It's paying attention to those signs that saved Krapf's life.

He has now successfully recovered from triple bypass open heart surgery and months of rehab and hopes his story will inspire and motivate others to stay on top of their health.

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