No matter how many times you hear “Heart Awareness Month” it doesn’t hit home until you know someone who was affected by heart disease. Throughout the month, we’d like to share personal stories about heart disease in women. Here’s the story Philly311 employee Katie Young shared:
“My best friend’s mom had aortic stenosis. It’s a congenital disease because she was born with a bicuspid aortic valve. In the summer of 2011, she had the aorta replaced. After my friend saw her mom for the first time after surgery she said, “I wasn’t expecting her to look any different than the mom I always saw. But when I saw her, I was at a loss for words. She looked tired, and pale, and exactly like someone who just had open heart surgery.” That was a really hard thing to see, because my friend’s mom is one of the strongest, most vibrant women I know; the recovery process took months. Until this happened, we didn’t really think about heart disease in women. We’re proud to report that we just celebrated her new valve’s year anniversary this past summer!
Katie’s story is a perfect example of why it is important to raise awareness for women’s heart health. To learn about womens’ risks and symptoms of heart disease, visit the Go Red for Women website.