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Patient Stories

Toshawa Andrews: Trust your instincts

Toshawa Andrews I was 30, and pursuing my passion—ice skating—when one day at the rink my chest started burning. I thought it was just anxiety. The next day, emergency room doctors diagnosed it as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). I kept skating like a madwoman. Read Story »

Marisa and Mary Ann Garcia: A Body-Mind Connection

Mary Ann Garcia and Marisa Garcia Mary Ann Garcia and Marisa Garcia understand the link between stress and heart disease first hand. Mother and daughter, they were diagnosed in 2012 with takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, takotsubo means “octopus fishing pot” in Japanese, for the shape the damaged left ventricle resembles. Read Story »

Lori Kupetz: Survivor with a full heart

Lori Kupetz As a young, thin, non-smoking, vegetarian woman, Lori Kupetz didn’t fit the profile of someone with heart disease. So when the stabbing chest pains began—while hiking, climbing stairs, playing in the park with her daughters—the first cardiologist Lori consulted dismissed her symptoms with one piece of advice: “Don’t worry.” Read Story »

Nicole Lawson: A woman’s heart

Nicole Lawson Nicole Lawson spent years suffering from daily chest pain, going from doctor to doctor—only to be told her problem was stress, acid reflux, or worse, all in her head. Read Story »

Amy Maughan: Caring for a caregiver

Amy Maughan Meet Amy Maughan, a committed social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services, a single mother of four, and a woman whose lupus condition increases her risk of heart disease. Read Story »

Lidia Morales: A busy mom, a stronger heart

Lidia Morales “I was your typical busy, healthy mom—driving my kids to sports, working as a team volunteer, climbing stairs twice daily. One day, I started feeling not... normal: short of breath, heart palpitations, prickles in the center of my chest. I had these symptoms for about four months. Then a high school friend, 33 years old, died of a heart attack. That made me go see a doctor.” Read Story »

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