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Red, Hot and Healthy at Rockdale Medical
Singers serenaded the crowd with selections from Les Miserables. (L-R) Anita Smith, Humber, Alex Smith, Jennifer Smith & grandfather Dave Smith, celebrity waiter & Honor Flight head. - photo by Jessica Smith

There were no fashion victims to be found on Rockdale Medical Center’s runway during their annual Red, Hot and Healthy Luncheon and Fashion Show Friday afternoon. However, there was a former heart attack victim, Becky Rutledge, who shared a first-hand account of her experience. The beloved event, a celebration of American Heart Month, never fails to inform and entertain. 

More than 200 guests dined on healthy fare from RMC’s culinary team served by a community “celebrity” wait staff while seeing the latest spring looks and show-stopping red numbers from Belk. 

RMC COO James Atkins emceed the show as physicians, RMC staff and members of the business community sashayed down the catwalk. Dr. Michael Manning, along with wife Linda Manning, showcased seersucker and linen before departing the stage to leave for a Haitian mission trip. 

After the show, Chief of RMC Catheterization Lab Dr. Enrique A. Flores gave a captivating presentation on preventing and treating heart disease. 

Heart disease is leading cause of death in American women — more than all cancers and strokes combined. Dr. Flores advised that besides making wise food choices and exercising, people should “know their numbers” — blood pressure and cholesterol. 

“Thirty percent of people [who have had heart attacks] don’t have symptoms and they’re not always chest pains or the ‘Hollywood heart attack,’” he said. “It could manifest in the arms or back.”  

Flores’ patient of six years, Becky Rutledge, related her experience and symptoms — jaw pain, exhaustion, yet not being able to rest. 

One night, she decided to take a sleep aid because she was leaving on a family trip the next morning.“I took two Lunesta and never closed my eyes. God told me to get up and get to the hospital. It never in a million years occurred to me that I was having a heart attack,” she said. “After it was all over, I realized how many women must do the same thing and never wake up.” 

Though she has lost weight, exercises more regularly and is on medication, she continues to struggle. To avoid going the surgical route, Rutledge vowed to the crowd to exercise more.

Next up, the crowd was treated to a mini-concert from Heritage High School vocalist Kylie Humber, who belted out a few numbers from “Les Miserables.” 

Finally, many lucky guests received door prizes from Belk, Reed’s Custom Framing and United Community Bank, to name a few. All received inspiration on how to live healthy and well-dressed lives.