In advance of the Season 5 premiere of Below Deck: Mediterranean on Bravo, Captain Sandy Yawn shared that she had a heart attack two years ago. She is reportedly in better health now.
According to the episode synopsis for the season premiere, Yawn is at the helm of mega-yacht Wellington and cruising one of the most desired yachting locations in the Mediterranean: Mallorca, Spain. The episode was filmed in 2019.
Yawn has previously shared updates on her health and has opened up about past struggles including a motorcycle accident that led to the discovery of a cancerous tumor in her kidney, a battle with alcohol abuse and her girlfriend’s lumpectomy to remove cancer in her breast.
Captain Sandy Yawn Had a Heart Attack Two Years Ago
In February, the captain did an interview with PeopleTV’s Reality Check and shared the details of what happened to her a couple of years ago. She said that she felt “off” during her SoulCycle Class.
“I remember thinking I was going to clip off the bike so I don’t fall, I didn’t want to disrupt the class, and I certainly wasn’t going to call 911 in the middle of Beverly Hills,” she said. “So I decided to call an Uber, and then I called my sister — and I survived.”
She said her symptoms included not being able to swallow and her heart rate not going down. She also felt lightheaded.
“I didn’t have any numbness, then when I got off my bike and walked outside, I started to feel the tingle in my left arm, exactly how described,” she said.
Captain Sandy said she hadn’t opened up previously because she “couldn’t handle it two years ago, psychologically.”
The Heart Attack Was Brought on by High Blood Pressure
According to The Daily Dish, the captain’s heart attack was brought on by high blood pressure that had previously gone undiagnosed, resulting in spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD).
“My health is great and it was great,” she said. “That’s misleading to think you have to be unhealthy to have a heart attack, that is not it. My veins are clean.”
She ended up spending four days in the hospital after her surgery and said the doctors were not able to put a stent in because of how small the dissection was. She said she had one of the top cardiologists in the country.
After the surgery, she was instructed to stay away from SoulCycle for 12 weeks, but she hadn’t really been concerned with that at the time. Instead, she was worried about her career, nearly immediately calling her maritime attorney.
“My career is solid, I passed a physical. In fact, I have a heart of a 20-year-old. I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, it had nothing to do with that. It was high blood pressure that was unchecked, and also I’m sure my diet probably had a lot to do with it,” she said.
Captain Sandy Yawn has since begun speaking out in an effort to raise awareness for heart disease and heart health alongside the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.