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Countdown to Take It To Heart

Free health screenings can help save lives

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eleven people were rushed to the hospital and five were admitted and had to stay for at least the night at last year's Take It To Heart event.  It was a busy and eye opening day for many people who had skipped these tests years prior.

The ambulance just stayed parked at Thrasher Horne Convention Center in Orange Park after paramedics kept getting calls.  Nine women just at that location were taken to the emergency room.   Marla Miller was the first taken away on a stretcher.

"I've been having some warning signs that I've kind of ignored because I don't have health insurance," said Miller.

She said she woke up that morning with pain and pressure in her chest, she  knew she needed to be checked.  Her blood pressure was 225 over 102, much higher than the recommended of 120 over 80. 

It was a similar experience for Ethel Anderson. "I've been having the shortness of breath, the chest tightness, and a lot of the symptoms so I just wanted to get checked," said Anderson.

We found last year, a lot of mothers and daughters came to get screened together.

"This is very important I want her to live a long healthy live...my husband has a bad heart and I tend to put him before myself, I know that sounds crazy but that's the way I am," one woman told us.

"I'm trying to keep myself well so I don't pass away at a young age and I can be here for my grandchildren," we were told.

Keep in mind these are tests you need to get every year so if you came last year you still need to get checked this year.  We're testing blood pressure and glucose, cholesterol and body mass index.  And, if you have answers, there's a cardiologist that you can meet with one on one. 

RELATED: Why Dr. Oz wants everyone to take advantage of Take It To Heart

Take it to Heart screenings ares scheduled for March 22 from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m:

Free blood pressure screening; total cholesterol screening; blood glucose screening; testing body mass index; consultations with cardiologists and pharmacists; prize giveaways.

  • Clay County: Orange Park Medical Center will host screenings at the Thrasher-Horne Center
  • Duval County (new location): Memorial Hospital will host screenings at the Jacksonville Expo Center at the Fairgrounds