When we asked heart attack survivors to share their Survivors Have Heart stories for the chance to celebrate survivorship and meet health and fitness expert, best-selling author and heart attack survivor Bob Harper, the submissions came pouring in. While all the stories were incredibly moving, we selected five essays that truly inspired us. These five survivors and their caregivers traveled to New York City this week to be able to connect with fellow heart attack survivors, including Bob.
Meet the Survivors Have Heart essay contest winners:
Kim was working an hour away from home when he started experiencing heart attack symptoms. His wife helped him recognize his symptoms and convinced him to visit a nearby hospital rather than drive home. Kim is incredibly grateful to be alive, so he shares his story to educate others.
Michele began to experience strange sensations while grocery shopping and directed the cashier to call 911 to transport her to the hospital. Michele’s doctor said it was a miracle that she was even alive, as her left atrial valve was 100% blocked. As a heart attack survivor, Michele is passionate about spreading awareness of cardiovascular health.
Like Bob (read his story here), Debbie suffered from a “widow maker” heart attack, which occurs when the left anterior descending (LAD) artery is blocked. She went into cardiac arrest and had to be shocked by an automated external defibrillator (AED) device multiple times. While making adjustments to her lifestyle is difficult, Debbie truly understands the importance of listening to her doctors.
When David experienced his heart attack, his wife drove him to the hospital at 2 AM. David learned he had 100% blockage and had to undergo open heart surgery. Since then, David and his wife (who learned she also had a blockage) have pledged to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits in their lives and those of their children.
Kristi led a healthy and active life. When she experienced symptoms that worried her, she immediately went to the hospital and went into full cardiac arrest within ten minutes of arriving. She ended up receiving two stents for blockages in her heart. Kristi is heartened knowing she has the power to make the most of life and share her awareness with others.
Connecting these individuals this week enabled them to relate with one another and share their inspiring stories. Stay tuned for more about the event and an upcoming Q&A with Bob Harper!