Amanda Tinney – Surviving
Amanda Tinney, 30, is a mother to a little boy. She has experienced three heart attacks and lives with a myocardial bridge. Amanda is from Chalmette, Louisiana.
It took me a long time to realize that I was a survivor. My first heart attack happened on my 26th birthday. At that age, I never would have imagined that this could happen to me. About two years later, I suffered from two more heart attacks. I had realized that my life was going to change after my diagnosis. I would have to exercise more, eat better, take several medications and live a stress-free life. These changes weren’t easy being a single mom of a young son, but they were necessary changes. I would have to learn to survive with my condition.
Heart disease runs in my family. I knew that I had a chance of heart disease because of my family history, but at my age, I never thought twice about it. A heart attack is something that I thought happens when you were older. Then one day it happened to me. I didn’t previously voice my concerns to my doctors. I didn’t make it a point to say that it could happen to me. I didn’t realize how important your family's medical history is to your own health.
But now, with my experience, my outlook has changed. No matter the age, I tell anyone and everyone to not ignore even the smallest symptoms and to make sure you inform your doctor about your family history. When it comes down to it, this information could potentially save your life.
Recently, my heart condition has opened my eyes to something bigger than myself. Many people don’t realize that heart attacks are the number one killer among women. These women could be our moms, sisters, coworkers, best friends or, ourselves. My advice to newly diagnosed young women to make a connection with someone who is going through the same thing. You could join a running group or taking a healthy cooking class. These are things that you can do for yourself to improve your quality of life. Day by day this will become your new normal.
Four years later, I can look back and say that I truly am a survivor. I can help lead the charge for heart health awareness among women. I am not what I thought a survivor looked like. But now I need to take the responsibility to help educate other women about their greatest health threat.