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Personal Stories: Conditions

The Day I Died

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.

33 Stents and Counting

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.

What NOT to Do

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.

Kristen Holihan's Why

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.

First the Wait, Then the Date

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.

Learning to Trust My Heart Again

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.

A Tale of Two Mothers

Janice Taylor lost her mother at age 10, but thanks to technology, her inherited heart disease did not deprive her daughters of a mother.

Sabrina Robinson's Why

Sabrina Robinson was at home with her son, Zachary, when she suddenly got very hot. A licensed practical nurse in a cardiologist’s office, she thought she might be having a stroke. “I called 911,” she said, “but within a minute or two I became so short of breath and dizzy that I couldn’t talk, and Zachary took over.” He had just turned 6 the week before.

It Began With A Run

As I was running, I suddenly felt a pain. No, not like the pain that is commonly associated with a muscle pull or a bone pain, but a burning pain. The pain was right around the sternum. There was no way I was REALLY sick. Right?

A Heart Attack Survivor Shares What She Has Learned

Traci Joyce had a heart attack in 2013. She had two blocked arteries and she waited several days before seeking treatment. She shares what she's learned from that experience and since then.

Is This Really Happening?

Dana Verdino couldn't imagine that she was actually experiencing a serious heart condition a week after giving birth to her son. But she was.

Jason Philpot's Why

Jason Philpot shares his why after surviving multiple surgeries and an aneurysm that grew from peanut-size to the size of a watermelon in just a few months.
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Departments

Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Heartfelt

Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.