American Heart Association

STORIES FROM THE HEART: 9-year-old’s voice helps save his mom’s life


Saturday mornings at the Smithlin household in Puyallup, Washington, followed a comfortable routine: Kyra, an early riser, would go into her 9-year-old son Bryce’s room for some cuddle time while her husband, Tony, enjoyed a little extra sleep.

On Dec. 15, 2012, things were going along […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: At 11, she’s on her 4th pacemaker; and that’s only part of her story


Ty’Meisha Sloan is much like many 11-year-old girls.

She loves singing, dancing, playing softball and spending time with friends and family in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I’m pretty much going all day,” she said.

But Ty’Meisha has one important difference from her peers. She has a pacemaker.

She’s even unique among […]

Pregnancy left couple unprepared for twin son’s heart defect

As Shannon and Kendall Cogan prepared for the arrival of their twin boys, a congenital heart defect never entered into their minds.

Shannon’s pregnancy had gone well and the fraternal twins were scheduled for delivery by cesarean section at 38 weeks. But when Colt and Cade were born the morning of Dec. […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: ‘Miracle baby’ now helping save future generations of kids with heart problems

To the folks in Chamberlain, South Dakota, the little girl born on Aug. 2, 1957, seemed perfectly healthy.

Within months, her parents weren’t so sure.

Laurie Van Brunt wasn’t developing the way other babies did. She was more lethargic, moving less than the other tykes.

Relax, a family doctor said. Babies develop […]

AHA, CHF join forces to help kids with heart defects

When Brycen Principe was born, his parents were overjoyed. But devastating news soon turned their excitement into shock, disbelief — and fear. Tiny Brycen had a heart defect.

“All I can remember thinking is ‘my baby is going to die,’” said his mom, Jessica.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Her tangle of heart problems were discovered in the womb; now 3, she’s thriving

At their 20-week ultrasound, Jamie and Cale Henderson were excited to learn they would be welcoming a baby girl.

The other news that day wasn’t as joyous.

Their unborn daughter had several problems with her heart. Doctors didn’t yet know the full extent of the condition.

“It was devastating,” Jamie said. “I […]

Fox News anchor’s baby boy going strong after numerous heart surgeries

Bret and Amy Baier greeted the birth of their first child with the excitement and anticipation of any new parents, posing for photos, spreading the good news, and staring in awe at 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes.

Less than two days later, they stood silently as doctors detailed […]

Fifth-grader jumping for dad’s memories one of nation’s top fundraisers

Reghan Haynes, a fifth-grader who devoted school fundraising efforts to her father after he died from heart disease late last summer, finished among the nation’s top fundraisers for the Jump Rope For Heart program.

Reghan, from Hays, Kan., raised a total of about $5,700, which is more than $5,000 more […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Like mother, like daughter – emotionally strong duo battle rare forms of heart disease

Keyota Cole was born with a hole in her heart and an abnormal valve. At 18 months old, she had her first open-heart surgery.

Keyota underwent a second heart surgery at age 5. Then as a teenager and young adult, she had additional procedures, including valve replacement surgery and the […]

Fighting for the youngest heart disease patients

Congenital heart defects are the No. 1 birth defect in the United States and the leading killer of infants with birth defects, tragic facts that the American Heart Association is working to combat on many fronts.

These defects are heart problems that are present at birth, including holes in the […]