American Heart Association

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Mother of 8 who collapsed in church warns others: ‘Heart disease doesn’t look like anything’

Cynthia Essex knew something wasn’t right that Sunday morning before church.

Getting out of bed was a struggle. Exhaustion persisted as she showered and got dressed. To top it off, Cynthia, who loves her assortment of shoes, didn’t care which pair she put on.

Cynthia pressed on, figuring she was just […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: ‘You don’t have to be overweight and out of shape to have a heart problem’

Susan O’Brien was living happily with her new husband Mark and their two puppies in their dream home, enjoying good times as summer approached.

“Life was wonderful,” recalled Susan, a petite woman in her 50s who exercised regularly and was in seemingly good health. “I felt great.”

Then something startling happened […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Building a new life after congestive heart failure

The flu. That’s what Nicole Smith thought was bothering her. She figured she would visit the ER, get a prescription and head back to work.

Doctors found something else: congestive heart failure and an enlarged heart. Her cardiologist also mentioned she may need a heart transplant.

“How long will that take” […]

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: While boy awaits transplant to beat incredibly rare condition, family accepts ‘new normal’

Rylan Karrer has to sit on the sidelines. He doesn’t have the energy to run, jump and play like other 10-year-old kids.

His heart can’t handle it.

Rylan is dealing with a one-in-a-million condition that prevents the chambers of his heart from filling with blood. The only solution is finding him […]