American Heart Association

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Longtime Boy Scout leader no longer taking chances with his health

Jose Lepervanche knew he was at risk of a cardiac event. He even tried to prevent it.

He just wasn’t able to keep trying.

Not even after the first time his heart faltered.
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Jose’s heart journey began in the early 1990s, while living in his native Venezuela. After experiencing some chest pain, […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: A heart attack at 37 sent marathon runner down a new path

Julie Pannell dropped off her kids at school before heading to the YMCA to swim with her friend Hannah as part of their training for a triathlon.

After about 45 minutes in the lap pool, they went to the locker room. Suddenly, Julie felt like she had the wind knocked […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: ‘He didn’t want to look at our daughter and tell her I’m not coming home’

Just home from grocery shopping, Michelle Johnston pulled her truck into the driveway. As her daughter, Sydney, went to help her take the bags inside, Michelle bent down to give her a hug.

That’s when Michelle collapsed. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she took her last breath.

Michelle’s […]

A father’s second chance, his company’s new passion

On perhaps the last night of his life, Brian Curin was told he needed to get some rest for the big day ahead. If he couldn’t drift off to sleep on his own, a nurse would be back soon with medicine to help speed the process.

Brian, however, had something […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Lifting a 3,500-pound car was only the start to saving her dad’s life; knowing CPR made a difference, too

One summer afternoon, 22-year-old Lauren Kornacki arrived home from her job as a lifeguard with hopes of borrowing the family car to go visit her best friend.

The car was in the garage being worked on by her dad, Alec Kornacki. He was trying to fix a brake problem.

When Lauren […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Retired Coast Guard Senior Chief shares story to educate others – especially men

Robert Epps was working the soundboard at his local church one Sunday morning when he walked up the stairs to the office. This simple activity left the 31-year-old with a terrible pain in his chest that made it hard to breathe.

“It felt like someone had stabbed me with a […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Potential Memorial Day tragedy avoided thanks to family, friends who knew CPR

Tim Weaver was cleaning a boat engine one minute and frantically gasping “Help” the next.

His son-in-law David Andrew was ordering pizza one minute and dialing 9-1-1 the next.

Family and friends around them were wrapping up their Memorial Day weekend on the beach one minute and pulling together to try […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: ‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do’ – like this survivor of a stroke when she was 15

Vandna Mittal loved dancing and snowboarding. She played varsity tennis and took honors classes at her high school in Redlands, Calif.

When a headache disrupted the 15-year-old’s walk to class, she dismissed it.

“Who would think it was anything?” she recalled. “Just a headache – harmless.”

But Vandna began feeling confused in […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Surviving stroke is a sprint for this marathon runner

Last Memorial Day, Teri Ackerson finished a 6-mile run in preparation for her next marathon, went home for a shower, then visited a Starbucks for a latte with her teenage son, Parker.

Driving away, her grip on her coffee cup loosened as her left arm suddenly went numb. She felt […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Stroke limits attorney, but she’s fighting back – and helping others do so, too

It was the time of year when many people indulge with abandon. Attorney Jan Thomas resisted, though. On this Dec. 28, she was remaining fit by spending her lunch break in her office gym, just as she did two or three times every week.

A partner in a large firm […]