When Kimberly Ketter was diagnosed with heart failure, her first thought was for her identical twin, Shaun Rivers, to be tested. Her diagnosis was the same, so the twins took up recovery together. Today, they are advocates for heart health in their community.
“I had no idea what cholesterol was or what impact having high cholesterol could have on me,” she recalled. It wasn’t long before she found out. Within two years she was diagnosed with heart disease and had open-heart surgery for a double bypass.
At age 36, Monica Penaranda of California has lived longer with pulmonary hypertension (PH) than without it. She was diagnosed at 16.
“Your baby’s only hope for survival is a heart transplant.” No parent is ever prepared to hear those words. And you never forget them, nor who said them, nor the day they were spoken.
Lauri was walking back inside when she took a few labored breaths and her heart stopped. Lauri collapsed in front of 18 children, including her two oldest — Jacob, now 9, and Audrey, now 7.
Sometimes it takes a life-changing event to shift your perspective on what’s important in life, and no event is more life-changing than death. Since my own death in November 2014, I have learned more about living.
My heart trouble started in 1997, when I was 50. Driving to work with my wife, Gerri, one morning, I stopped at a convenience store for coffee. Suddenly I started to get chest pains and could not breathe very well.
When a person is having chest pain, within which timeframe should you call 911? The answer may seem obvious, but I became a CPR instructor because we did everything WRONG when my husband, Steve, had a heart attack in 2007.
In 1995, Kristen Holihan got a wonderful Christmas present four days early — the birth of her son, Tyler Matesen. But she would not take him home until after the new year, and then with overwhelming fear and anxiety.
Replacing heart valves can be a tricky business because it involves multiple variables. Knowing that you’ll be needing a serious heart surgery in the future, but not knowing when, can wear on a person.
A few weeks after surgery to give me a new coronary artery, I was to begin cardiac rehab in my hometown of Portland. I was scared. No. I was terrified to do anything that would stress my heart. It had betrayed me once, and I did not trust that it wouldn’t do it again. I was deeply shaken by the whole experience.
Janice Taylor lost her mother at age 10, but thanks to technology, her inherited heart disease did not deprive her daughters of a mother.