Channel 10 Reporter Felled By Heart Attack Sheela Allen-stephens, 47, Was In Guarded Condition. She Had No History Of Heart Problems.

Posted: August 20, 1996

Sheela Allen-Stephens, a popular features reporter at WCAU-TV (Channel 10) since 1977, was transferred last night to a Philadelphia hospital after suffering a heart attack early Sunday in Atlantic City.

Allen-Stephens, who turns 48 next month, was transferred to Allegheny University Hospitals, Center City (formerly Hahnemann), from Atlantic City Medical Center's coronary-care unit, a WCAU spokeswoman said.

She and her husband, WCAU cameraman Lonnie Stephens, were in Atlantic City for the weekend, as is their summer custom. Friday, Allens-Stephens did her usual report on WCAU's weekly Down the Shore (seen live from 4 to 6 p.m.) from Long Beach Island.

Yesterday, WCAU news director Steve Doerr, who visited Allen-Stephens briefly Sunday, said she had no history of heart problems.

According to Doerr, this is what happened: Saturday night, Allen-Stephens, saying she was not feeling good, spoke to a nurse, who told her she was probably experiencing indigestion. The next morning, Allen-Stephens, in pain, went to the Atlantic City Medical Center.

Yesterday, an Atlantic City Medical Center spokeswoman would say only that Allen-Stephens was in guarded condition. She is to undergo tests to determine heart damage, the WCAU spokeswoman said.

``She's not doing well,'' Doerr said. ``We're very worried about her. We're all keeping our fingers crossed.''

Allen-Stephens, whose weight has fluctuated greatly over the years, had recently begun another diet and exercise program, which she was chronicling on the early-evening newscasts. It was not known whether her weight was a factor in her heart attack.

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