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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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.

What a Silent Heart Attack Sounds Like

When the doctor told Roxanne that the back pain she’d had for six weeks was due to a heart attack she was shocked. Within four years, she received the gift of a new heart. She has since recruited thousands of organ donors.

Christie Reinhardt’s Why

Christie Reinhardt was pregnant with twins when she experienced a life-threatening aortic dissection. “They told my family there was a surgery they could try, but I had a less than 10 percent chance of survival.”

Not the Typical Face

When Kimby woke from gall bladder surgery, she felt intense pain in her upper arms and yelled for help. Immediately she was surrounded by medical professionals asking questions about her heart.

I am a Heart Attack Survivor

Before her heart attack, Barbara loved being a mom, wife, vegetarian and healthy. There were no red flags.

Giving Heart

By the time Breana Bladel was 17, doctors had done all they could for her but her heart was giving out. She went on the transplant list in the middle of January 2013. Two weeks later, the Bladels got the call. There was a heart.
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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.

Check. Change. Control.® Tracker for Blood Pressure

Check. Change. Control.® uses self-monitoring and tracking of blood pressure readings at home to help you achieve and maintain a healthy heart. Sign up today to start managing your heart health!

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.

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.

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.