MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Her mom died of a heart attack and now one Ohio woman is sending out a warning. 

What You Need To Know

  • Margaret Martin's mother had a heart attack while preaching and died a short time later

  • Weeks before it happened, Martin noticed her mom started having chest pains

  • Martin has been an advocate and fundraiser for the American Heart Association ever since

Every step Margaret Martin takes on the trail just outside of Atrium Hospital in Middletown is a reminder of what happened to her mother.

Her mom was a former pastor at a small church in Dayton.

Martin says during one service, she knew something was wrong with her mom. 

“I said ‘Mom, why do you keep rubbing your breast?’," said Martin. "She said ‘Oh it ain’t nothing, it ain’t nothing' ... all the time this was happening, she was dismissing the pain.” 

A few weeks later, that chest pain got worse. 

“She went to preach at another church, a visiting church, and suddenly fell ill in the pulpit,” said Martin.

Martin's mother had a heart attack and delivered her last words to her daughter from a hospital bed.

“I put my ear down to what she was trying to say, I said ‘Mama are you in pain?’," said Martin. "She said 'You are to take care of everyone'.”  

Those words that became her mission.

Over the three decades since her mother died, she’s been warning people about the signs. 

“We have to take care of our body, we have to listen. I mean, I'm not saying every little minor thing we have to run to the doctor, but that was major to me,” said Martin.

She has been raising money for the American Heart Association, including during its annual fundraising walk around the hospital.  

Every year, she takes those steps for her mom so someone else won’t have to. 

“Somebody else’s family, they can save their mother or father from a tragedy,” said Martin.

Advocates and families recently finished the annual Heart Walk for Butler/Warren counties. 

They’ve raised close to $30,000 this year for the American Heart Association.