Personal Stories

There are many types of heart disease but no matter what the type, the experience of living with it can have a profound impact on the patient and those who care about them. Read these stories of patients, survivors and their families sharing their experiences and insights. 

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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.

Eagles Save the Day

They were watching TV when his friend Blake Wilson heard a thump in the kitchen and found Daniel face down on the floor. Wilson yelled for the two other boys, Jon Evert and Blake Perez. Perez called 911, and with direction from the 911 operator, Evert began CPR.

Don't Do What I Did!

Keith Short is blessed to be alive - a doctor told him so as he let him know his heart had sustained serious damage that could not heal or be repaired. Keith wants others to not do what he did.

Gabby McManus's Why

In August 2013, Gabby woke in the middle of the night with severe heartburn and feeling like there was a huge weight on her shoulders. Much worse than symptoms she’d had the previous few weeks.

Didn't Get to See Fred

Heart disease was never something I worried about much. However, when my father died at 72 during open-heart surgery, I became less cavalier and much more concerned about my own potential for a heart attack.

Small Things with Great Love

Dancer Lindsay Davis kept collapsing during ballet class. She didn’t know she had a congenital heart defect till it almost killed her. Now she wants to save others.

Eric Barr: A Piece of His Mind

Eric Barr nearly died as the result of three strokes from an infected valve replacement. A professor of acting, he wrote and starred in a one-man show about his experience.

Ever Hear of Printzmetal’s Angina?

It is seven months since my heart attack, and it has taught me that even though you are healthy, have normal blood pressure and cholesterol, that you can still have a heart attack. I am writing this to educate and warn people.

How I Found Peace

At age 69, I had no history of heart problems. On Saturday, August 9, 2014, suddenly I felt dizzy and that was the last I remember. My husband found me wedged between the nightstand and the bed. Immediately he called 911.
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Resources For Patients & Families

Answers By Heart

Answers by Heart is a series of downloadable patient information sheets presented in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read. They also provide room for you to write down questions to ask your doctor.

Glossary of Heart Disease

The term 'heart disease' is often used - but there are many types of disease that come under this category. This companion piece to "The Heart of a Woman" in our Spring 2015 issue provides a list of some of the most common conditions in the heart disease spectrum.

Health Assessments

By entering a few of your health numbers, our risk tools will provide you with valuable information on steps you can take today to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Take a few minutes to learn your health risks with one of our powerful risk assessment tools.

Heart360 Personal Health Record

Heart360® is an easy-to-use tool which helps you understand and track the factors that affect your heart health - including blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, glucose, weight and medications. Heart360® safely and securely stores your information in Microsoft® HealthVault™. Sign up today to manage your heart health!

My Life Check

My Life Check® was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health for all Americans. Any person can make these changes and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. Know your heart score.

Patient & Family Support Network

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has created an online community called the Support Network. The goal is to connect people living with heart disease and stroke with others who are going through similar journeys.

Stroke Connection Magazine

For over 20 years Stroke Connection has been the award-winning voice of support, information and inspiration for a vast community of stroke survivors and their families. Now offered exclusively as a digital publication, it's available virtually everywhere.

Trackers & Logs

Nearly twenty different printable trackers and logs for everything from recording your family health history to tracking your physcial activity or preparing for your next visit to the doctor.

Watch, Learn & Live Video Library

Here you'll find informative illustrations and animations about a variety of conditions, treatments and procedures related to heart disease and stroke.
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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.