Stroke survivor Noelia Gutierrez. (Photo courtesy of Noelia Gutierrez) Noelia Gutierrez appreciated her mother traveling from New York to Florida to help with the arrival of her third child. One day, Gutierrez decided to have a fun lunch: She would introduce her mom to sushi. And her brother, a flight attendant who was on the…

Heart attack survivor Amy Kren (right) with her husband, Brian. (Photo courtesy of Amy Kren) As she finished mowing the lawn of her home in Girard, Ohio, Amy Kren had a somewhat familiar feeling. The shortness of breath and tightness in her chest seemed like another asthma attack. She went into the garage and put…

Heart attack survivor Danny Saxon. (Photo courtesy of the Saxon family) Danny Saxon was finishing a job repairing and cleaning a pool this past February when he started feeling like he had bad indigestion. He popped a couple antacid pills and chugged a few bottles of water. He tried to make himself burp, hoping that…

Heart disease survivor Terita Grier. (Photo courtesy of Terita Grier) Terita Grier has struggled with obesity her whole life. She also has diabetes and high blood pressure, two leading risk factors for heart disease. Her dad died of a massive heart attack a month before she got married in her mid-20s. As she approached 50,…

Stroke survivor Liz Gilberg. (Photo courtesy of Liz Gilberg) Elizabeth Gilberg recently picked up a few new skills. At 50, she’s learned to knit and is relearning how to quilt. She took lessons in cross-country skiing and tried her hand at beekeeping. Bike riding didn’t go so well, but she’s game to keep trying. Like…

Uncontrolled high blood pressure and kidney disease led to a kidney transplant for music producer Brian Kennedy. (Photo courtesy of Brian Kennedy) Brian Kennedy was living his dream. A piano prodigy, he moved from his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, to Los Angeles in 2003, when he was 20. He started out as a musician…

Transient ischemic attack survivor Dawn Turnage. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Turnage) Exhausted at the end of a workday, Dawn Turnage plopped into a comfortable chair on her patio to soak up some sun before going to bed early. Her phone buzzed. It was a FaceTime call from her sister, April Washington. Washington was calling because…

Heart attack survivor Dottie Lewis. (Photo courtesy of Dottie Lewis) Just a few days after Dottie Lewis and her husband, Wayne, returned from vacation to their home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, she started feeling poorly. This was 2019, a year before COVID-19 shut down travel and before face masks on planes. Dottie often caught a bug…

Congenital heart defect survivor Leo Strauss (right) and his mom, Rachel, at Leo’s 5th birthday party. (Photo courtesy of the Strauss family) Six months after Rachel and Levi Strauss married on the coldest Valentine’s Day in Detroit history, they learned they were going to have a baby. At their home in Houston, Levi helped satisfy…

Heart attack survivor Justin Ballard. (Photo courtesy of Justin Ballard) Justin Ballard of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, stared at the photos in disbelief. “Do I really look that big?” he thought. The pictures came from a joyous occasion – Christmas Day 2019, when Kelsey, the oldest of his three children, had gotten engaged. The couple set…