February 1, 2013
11:30am - 5:30pm
600 E. Market
San Antonio, Texas 78205
In late 2006, working as a kindergarten teacher, 29-year-old Salina Rivera was living a normal life with her young son at home. But from one day to the next, she noticed difficulty climbing the stairs and having shortness of breath. Salina went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with severe heart failure. No one in her family had ever had any issues or conditions related to heart disease, so she felt completely blindsided.
Salina was told she would have just a few months to live. A transplant would be needed, but she more than likely would not survive while waiting for one. There was one hope for survival: a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). Research funded through the American Heart Association lead to the development of the LVAD, a pump that allows for a failing heart to work more efficiently. Though at the time, the LVAD was still experimental and pending FDA approval. With the will to live a long, healthy life not only for herself, but also for her son, Salina had the LVAD placed and began the process of recovery.
Over the next two years, taking the recommendations of doctors to eat healthy and exercise, and staying positive all the while, Salina’s heart started to heal itself. The LVAD was eventually removed and she no longer needed a heart transplant. She relied greatly on the American Heart Association’s online patient resources to learn as much as she could about her condition. The resources helped her not only understand her condition but also how to prevent it and live an overall heart-healthy life. Now Salina shares her story alongside others through the American Heart Association to give hope, encouragement, and awareness to all women about the risk of heart disease and what it means to live a heart-healthy life.
Get inspired. Get informed. Join health and fitness experts, medical professionals, and women like you to hear the concrete steps you can take today for better heart health.
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