Bismarck woman suffers “Widow-Maker,” lives to tell about it

The American Heart Association says it’s important to know the warning signs of a heart attack.

It’s often called a “Widow-Maker” because it can be fatal, and the outcome could have been just that for Kristin Steele had she ignored the signs.

Patrick Steele is Kristin’s husband and Co-owner at Bubble Island Bath Treats.

He says, “We work hard together. She works hard. She works too hard. I’ve always tried to get her to slow down but she never does.”

Kristin Steele has been making bath products for over 20 years now, and for the last several years she and her husband have owned Bubble Island Bath Treats.

Kristin says, “I make everything. I produce anything from my CBD products to my regular products. Bath bombs, bubble bath, body lotion, shower steamers, all kinds of stuff.”

This job takes anywhere from 40-100 hours a week of her life and she says lack of sleep adds up.

Kristin shares, “I needed something to do, a hobby.”

She started making handmade soaps in her kitchen now they work out of a warehouse in east Bismarck. On March 10th this year, Kristin came to work like any other day and everything was about to change.

Kristin says, “I was like .. hmm… kinda feel a little funny. You know I kinda felt like there was a roll, something, you couldn’t swallow. Something stuck right about here,” pointing to her chest.

The signs were all there and they were signs she had never seen before; cold sweats, finger tingling, ringing ears.

Kristin adds, “Pat my husband was here. I usually don’t ask for help and he was in the restroom and I sat down and I went on messenger and I said I need your help. Hurry.”

That was all he needed to hear.

Kristin says, “Luckily we have a drive-up area here so he literally opened up our back door, drove the car in.”

The main artery to her heart was completely blocked. Kristin had a Widow Maker Heart Attack. So, after she went to the doctor she got a stint put in. But Patrick says things aren’t all the way back to normal.

Patrick shares, “I’m not thrilled about it. I still wake up at night to make sure she’s still breathing.”

But Kristin is back to work, taking things in stride.

Kristin adds, “A lot of customers are saying why are you coming back but they understand. This is not an easy thing to get back to.”

Kristin is back working part-time and she says even though she’s going a little slower, the point is, she’s still going.

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