Moline neighbors help each other during heart attack snow

MOLINE - After the snow, the shovel goes into motion.

"It was really heavy-feeling, real thick and heavy," recalled Joline Hunter, on Monday, November 26.  "It wore me out."

When Hunter became a casualty of the climate, neighbor Cassie Alaniz stepped into action.

"Helping other people out is nice to do," she said.

"I was shocked," Hunter added.  "I had tried earlier, but I hurt my back."

It's a kind gesture after this so-called heart attack snow.  First responders and emergency rooms were busy with heart-related problems due to snow shoveling.

The elements are especially tough on those with prior heart attacks or even high blood pressure.  The strain of shoveling or pushing a snow blower can trigger a potentially deadly heart attack.

"You've got to pace yourself," said Alaniz.  "That's what I was trying to do."

Those with heart problems, smokers or inactive lifestyles should think twice before shoveling snow.  Talk to a doctor before even starting.

This snow can lead to a variety of injuries, from falls to injured backs, hips and knees.

"A lot of times, I tell my patients to try to break up the task," said Genesis Physical Therapist Alyssa Gillund.  "If you know it's going to snow 12 inches, try to get out there early and get some of it done."

Scoop-by-scoop, that strategy is working for Cassie Alaniz.

"I just take my time," she said.  "As long as you make sure that you use your legs a lot, and then take breaks as you can."

It just might be a life-saver.

"The first snow, and it's a doozy," Hunter concluded.