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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Perspective and Purpose

I never thought of myself as strong or unique or special in any way. I have certainly proven myself wrong.

Bonus Days

I woke up today and it was a big deal. In fact, the last five years have been full of bonus days. Waking up each day has been a really big deal!

A Different Person

As I sprawled in my hospital bed — feeling permanently dazed — with slurred, labored speech I tried to describe how I felt to my wife and sons. It felt, I said, like a cross between a brutal barroom beating and a spiritual awakening.

Women Take Charge of Their Health

Running after coronary quadruple bypass

An avid runner before his quadruple bypass surgery, Bobby Miller wanted to get back to that healthy habit as quickly as possible.

Finn’s Journey

Kelly and Michael Blumenthal were excited for the arrival of their second child, Finn. At their 19-week pregnancy scan, they learned he had heart disease.

The Magic of a 10-Year-Old

Heart patient Lori Ann Wood notices fateful coincidences between her own life and the timelines of advances in science that ultimately saved her life.

Waiting Watchfully

Mark Ridder found out he had a heart murmur at age 14. He didn’t have a diagnosis — bicuspid aortic valve stenosis — till he was 42. It didn’t get fixed till he was 60.

Learning the Hard Way

Poppy Sundeen knew her mother had heart problems, but she never considered the sore on her leg was a clue. She learned about peripheral artery disease (PAD) the hard way.

A Warrior Embraces Her Scar

Both her parents expected they were getting a beautiful, healthy baby girl. A couple days later, they were told that their baby had a heart murmur in the aortic valve.

Working for the Right Organization

Ruth Mercado didn’t feel her doctor was taking her symptoms seriously. Because she works for the American Heart Association, she knew she needed to find a new doctor – thank goodness she did.

Dealing with the Memories

When he was a kid having heart surgeries in 1968 and 1973, no one explained anything about the procedures to him. Like other adults who had heart surgery as children, this contributed to traumatic flashbacks and more.

When Protein Origami Goes Wrong

Understanding ATTR-CM, an underdiagnosed and previously untreatable cause of heart failure.

Be Prepared

Erin Flynn Jay’s father was a heart transplant recipient. His experience led him to help others understand that being prepared — physically and emotionally — is crucial to recovery.

A Stroke at 25

At the age of 25, I had a hemorrhagic stroke. I was helping a church member move that morning. I was told to always expect the unexpected, but I had no idea that life would throw me such a surprise.
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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.