Company raises more than $1 million in single market for Heart Walk

The personal impact of heart disease on Tony Best and his employees at Denver-based SM Energy Co. inspired them to raise more than $1 million for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, a first for a company in a single market

More than 160 employees of the independent energy company […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Michigan mom ignored the risks and suffered the consequences; now, after losing 130-plus pound, she’s back in control

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Sheri Lindsay was standing at the kitchen table, organizing pictures for her son’s hockey banquet, when her body delivered the ultimate wake-up call.

“I felt something pop in my left eye, and I immediately said to my husband, ‘I need to go to the hospital,’” she said.

Sheri […]

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: His two open-heart surgeries by 6 prompted family’s support of research

Taking her 9-month-old son Caden for a routine checkup, Xochitl Ayon wondered about the best vaccination schedule and development milestones such as when he should start pulling up.

A much bigger concern soon followed. What initially was diagnosed as a heart murmur turned out to be a troublesome piece of […]

Dennis begins second year as AHA chair with gusto

Bernie Dennis has a favorite saying about his favorite organization: “People don’t need the American Heart Association … until they need the American Heart Association.”

He’s exhibit A. It took a few heart attacks and a quadruple bypass to get him involved.

While recovering, a rehabilitation nurse challenged him to raise […]

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, […]

Forty minutes without a heartbeat to a life filled with purpose

Wendy Brechbuhler was using her phone to track the distance she was covering with her husband Kraig while they trained for a marathon in July last year. But, moments later, when he collapsed during a cool-down walk, she was using it to save his life — by calling 9-1-1.

Then […]

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 […]

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 […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: 17 days before co-chairing Heart Walk, he underwent open-heart surgery

As a father, husband, businessman and co-chair of the 2012 Heart Walk in Lincoln, Neb., Craig Gies kept plenty busy.

He was so busy that about two weeks before the event, he’d yet to write a letter seeking donations from family and friends.

The fact he wrote it from his hospital […]