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. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

See moreFeatured Personal Stories

One Lucky Dude

On August 25, 2010, I earned the title of "one lucky dude." It was awarded to me by "Dr. Andy," an ER doctor I had just "met" that day. The circumstances of our meeting were less than ideal. In fact, they were nearly tragic for me and my family — wife Wendy, son Isaac and beautiful Ashley. We met because of a complete blockage of my left anterior descending artery (LAD).

Double Winner

Patrick Shaw beat cancer, then heart disease. The cancer therapy that saved his life led to heart problems 20 years later.

Lunch Bucket List

One thing some of us heart patients grump about the most is having to change our diets. Give me eight new medications to take? No problem. Try to teach me new ways to manage stress? Sketchy. But eliminate my best friends, salt and fat, from my diet? No way!

Dream Big!

In January 2004 during a routine ultrasound, my wife Stacie and I learned that our son, Luke, would be born with complex congenital heart defects. It was an emotional roller coaster to understand the challenges that lay ahead.

Kimberly Goodloe’s Why

Kimberly Goodloe knew something was wrong the moment the pain began. "I came out of a class where I was a substitute teacher and grabbed my chest," she said. "It was the worst feeling."

The Triad Triage Trio

In a crowded church in Greensboro, North Carolina, all eyes are on the podium as two men and a woman recount their personal tales of survival. All have waged a battle against heart disease and/or stroke and are sharing their experiences in the hope of educating others.

One Shot for Fame and Glory

At the young age of 19, Cory had a catastrophic stroke at the end of his freshman year of college. Against all odds, he came back from this life threatening event to start the final game of his senior year.

Shannon Cockrell's Why

Children teach their parents many lessons. Shannon Cockrell’s daughter Morgan Humphreys taught her mom about the physiology of the heart—and the preciousness of life.

Veronica's Story

Veronica Sanchez thought she knew the signs of a heart attack from the movies she’d seen — chest pain and numbness in the left arm. So when she felt nauseated and dizzy, she dismissed those feelings. "I thought it was something I ate," she said.

Mariam's Story

In early 2010, Mariam Giardini was a vivacious 32-year-old. She ate healthy and worked hard to stay in shape, doing fitness boot camps and other aerobic activities. Heart disease was the furthest thing from her mind.

Debra's Story

Debra Koziol, age 54, of Cranston, Rhode Island, has spent her adult life paying attention to her health by exercising and watching her diet. She had to because in her 20s she’d been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse—a condition causing her heart to occasionally skip a beat.

From Couch Potato to Ironman

I smoked too much. I worked too much. Ate a horrible diet. My only exercise was finger calisthenics with the TV remote. I was a 5-foot-6, 200-lb couch potato.

A Complicated Beginning

At three months old Crystal Flores was diagnosed with seven different congenital heart defects. Eight open-heart surgeries later she declares, "Heart disease can't beat me!"

Live to Dance

Six years ago, 51-year-old Ellen Abramson of St. Louis was the picture of health. Working for a national weight loss company, the busy mom of three prided herself on eating healthy and working out on a regular basis. So when she began experiencing puzzling symptoms such as regular heartburn and crushing fatigue, she knew something wasn’t right.

A Star is Born

TV personality Star Jones becomes a heart health advocate
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

                            - ADVERTISEMENT - 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Download the Heart Insight App for FREE

Enjoy Heart Insight anywhere and everywhere via our free apps for iOS and Android devices or your Kindle Fire.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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.