American Heart Association

Louisiana woman loses weight with help of surgery, fights family history of heart disease


Diets and other weight-loss programs didn’t stick for Edris Patterson.

To lose weight and kick off a healthier lifestyle, she took a drastic step — gastric sleeve surgery. The surgery, plus regular exercise and a healthier diet, helped her drop 70 pounds.

“It’s about trying to do […]

July 28th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Cholesterol, Healthy Living, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, multicultural, Nutrition, Obesity, Prevention, Stories from the Heart|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Louisiana woman loses weight with help of surgery, fights family history of heart disease

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Mom’s heart attack made AHA mission personal for staffer


At 63, Kay Machyniak of Wausau, Wisconsin, was working to reduce her risk for heart disease.

While she could do nothing about her family history of problems, she quit her heavy smoking habit. She also lost weight.

She feared that it wasn’t enough. She was often short […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Since heart attack, she ‘learned to cook instead of smoke,’ runs half-marathons

About midnight after a nice Thanksgiving dinner, Jodi Pitzen began sweating.

“There was nothing I could do to cool off,” she said. “Then I felt a little bit of nausea. I turned on the fan, but nothing was working. I could not stop sweating.”

After getting some water, she headed back […]

STORIES FROM THE HEART: Living through a stroke was one thing; now he’s regaining what he lost, inspiring others

Sebastian Baker knew he was at risk of stroke because it ran in his family.

An aunt and a cousin each suffered debilitating strokes. Each endured complications in ensuing years, then died.

Those relatives were in their late 30s and early 40s when they suffered their strokes. Sebastian was 45 the […]

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: Woman who ignored symptoms now advises others to be aware

More than anything, Melissa Blount wanted to give her daughter Safiya a sibling.

She built her life around her quest for another child. In her late 30s, this meant refusing to take medicine to lower her high cholesterol. While this raised her chance of heart disease, she didn’t worry about […]