March, 29, 2001: My twin sister dropped off matching outfits for a family portrait that would never happen. My mother-in-law spent the night and volunteered to get my monstrous housekeeping fail under control. My newborn daughter, Keeling, was starting to sleep through the night and I was starting to get my routine back. Managing a three-month-old newborn started to actually seem possible.
That all came to a screeching halt the night I found her unconscious. A victim of SIDS, unfortunately there were not a lot of explanations other than a likely hereditary heart defect. Luckily there is hope for others who share heart conditions. It’s all a matter of raising awareness and knowing what signs to look for in order to prevent loss of a loved one’s life.
My family has been affected by heart disease for as long as I can remember. My brother had to have a serious heart operation, my grandfather passed away after having a massive heart attack, and my mother is in the hospital recovering from congestive heart failure. Something I have learned over the years is that there are many different ways to be proactive when dealing with your heart.
This is #MyChangeofHeart: being more aware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart failure to prevent yet another family tragedy. If we had been aware of our daughter’s heart disease after she was born, it could have changed everything. If my mom had known that her shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms were the signs of heart failure, she could have gotten help before she had a heart attack.
This is something I am so passionate about because sometimes awareness alone can save someone’s life. A lot of people are not aware that women’s symptoms for heart failure can look very different than a man’s. Here is a list of some common symptoms for heart failure in women:
We are so happy to have the opportunity to support the American Heart Association in their efforts to raise awareness of heart failure. The team here at Handmade Charlotte has created our own “Heartie” to share some love and raise awareness. We would love to see you make your own and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #MyChangeofHeart and #RiseAboveHF! Please visit American Heart Association’s Thunderclap page for more information about this initiative. Together, we can Rise Above Heart Failure!
This post is sponsored by American Heart Association.