Melissa Murphy – Heart Attack Anniversary And The Meaning Of Heart Month

Melissa writes regular for the Support Network blog as well as her own personal blog. She says, “That’s how this crazy blog got started. Coronary, chest pain, Myocardial infarction are several words to describe my condition. Whatever words you use to describe it, I still can’t believe that at the age of 40 I’m in the heart attack club. After months of rehabilitation and grappling with my possible mortality, I’ve turned the page and decided to help others that are walking down this crazy path as a survivor. Follow me on my journey at I’m also a patient champion of a secure online network for people to donate their lifestyle, health and genetic data and participate in scientific research..”
Are you kidding me, It's been almost a year since my heart attack? What a crazy and wild ride I find myself on to this day. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would become part of a group known as heart attack survivors. I was a healthy, 40-year-old mom with no cardiovascular risk factors going about my daily tasks. Flipping the calendar from month to month and not realizing that February will now be the most important month of my life!  Why do you ask? Because this happened….

My Cath lab film showing 100% blockage of my right coronary artery (Photo Right)
February is not only the month of my heart attack but coincidentally is also known as  Heart Month! If you're going to have a heart attack, why not have it in February? One thing you'll find when reading my blogs is humor is a big part of my personal healing journey! 

This blog is very important to me because heart health doesn't just matter to me, it matters to all of us! Maybe you haven't been affected by heart disease in your family or maybe you know too many people to count.  Where ever you fall at on this spectrum, it's very important that you and your loved ones know the signs and what steps to take to minimize your risks. Up until 2-10-16 I thought I was the pillar of health .. well was I proven wrong with the sensation of chest and jaw pain. 

Heart health not just affects you but your family and friends. Although our heart is ours, it's interconnected between family, loved ones, and friends.  Take a personal assessment of your health. Ask yourself do you have high cholesterol? High blood pressure? Family history of heart disease? Smoke?  If you find yourself answering yes to these questions.. go talk to your doctor. Start your new path to a healthy heart this February and don't look back. We owe this to our loved ones.  

(Photo left) Here is  a picture of my angiogram when they fixed my right coronary artery with the placement of stents.. this is why February is so important. February brought about the research and medical developments to open my artery and save my life!! The white arrow points to the stent placed in my artery. This will allow my artery to stay open and bring blood to my heart.
The finished product, blood flow restored to my heart!! Notice  the increased blood pathways from this photo to the first photo.  (Photo below) 069ee3934b7212c68efb5f5cf6fa0a9c-huge-bl

During February, take in all the news, stories and information about Heart Health. Stand united that we can change heart health and move cardiovascular disease out of the #1 spot for mortality. 

Get involved with  My Research Legacy if you are currently between 21 and 49 years of age, of any race or ethnicity or gender, who reside in the United States. To learn more about how you can use your data for good in the fight against heart disease and stroke, go to My Research Legacy.


Posted by AHA/ASA Katie Bahn on Feb 14, 2017 2:36 PM CST

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