After heartbreak, Murfreesboro family urges people to prioritize heart health

Dakota Baldwin
Posted at 10:18 PM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 06:31:32-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dakota Baldwin was 23 years old when he died of a heart attack last Wednesday.

"I just would like other young people his age to be more aware of your health because this is a tragedy like a mother should never have to bury a child. Like this is unreal I feel like I'm in a dream just waiting to wake up," his sister Rachel Patterson said.

His family wants to share Dakota's story in hopes others don't suffer the same heartbreak. His sister said Dakota was a loving brother that loved the outdoors.

"He loved his friends and his friends loved him and he was just an amazing person," she said.

Dakota's death was a sudden tragedy and one his family said they didn't see coming because he was young and healthy.

"He was 23 years old. He never had any health problems. It just came out of nowhere," Patterson said.

According to the American Heart Association, heart attacks among younger people are on the rise.

Patterson said the last thing on Dakota's mind was visiting the doctor. She hopes people take his death as a wake-up call to prioritize health check-ups.

"If we can save one person from this interview that would be awesome," Patterson said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs.

The American Heart Association says these arecommon signs of heart attacks:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.