Alicia Bravo helped her community raise money for a chest compression system, and a year later it saved her life. (American Heart Association) When Alicia Bravo saw the EMS service in her childhood hometown was holding a 5K race to raise money for a mechanical chest compression system, she signed up right away. As an…

Ashli Stewart survived a life-threatening heart condition and is now an advocate for heart disease awareness. (American Heart Association) Ever since Ashli Stewart was a kid, people have told her that she’s old at heart. Raised by a single mother, Stewart often made dinner and helped her little brother with his homework. Today, as a…

Jane Herndon survived a genetic heart condition and a heart transplant. So did her sister, Anne. (Photo courtesy of Mary Ray) Jane Herndon and her family share an unusually close bond, forged through tragedy and triumphs. Their difficult journey began when Jane and her three sisters were in their teens and early 20s. Their mother,…

Stroke survivor Gary Lucas in his woodworking shop. (Photo courtesy of Gary Lucas) Gary Lucas delights in making intricate wooden decorative pieces in his tidy workshop. He’s particularly talented with his electric scroll saw, using its precision cuts to create crosses, puzzles, plaques and ornaments. To teach others his woodworking skills, Lucas makes videos he…

Trenton Cary before his second heart transplant. (Photo courtesy of David Cary) When Trenton Cary was 11 months old, mom Valerie could tell he didn’t feel well, so she scheduled a doctor’s appointment. But she quickly realized it couldn’t wait. She and her husband, David, rushed their son to an emergency room – in the…

Stroke survivor Amanda Moreland with her husband, Tony, and their two daughters. (Photo courtesy of Brooks Rehabilitation) Near the end of her second pregnancy, Amanda Moreland sliced open her knee. She applied pressure with a towel but couldn’t fully stop the bleeding. The next day, the Jacksonville, Florida, woman had a cesarean section to welcome…

Mother and daughter Barbara Jackson (left) and Olivia Copeland share a diagnosis of long QT syndrome. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Jackson) The night she turned 37, Barbara Jackson put her 2-year-old daughter Olivia Copeland to bed and walked to the kitchen. She felt a little odd but didn’t think much of it. The next thing…

Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Dorenbos turned to magic after heart issues ended his football career. (Photo courtesy of Jon Dorenbos) Jon Dorenbos was swimming with sharks in Bora Bora when he realized he kept losing his breath. During his 14-year NFL career, he’d never experienced anything like this. “It felt like I would drown,” Jon…

Pianist Paul Cardall was born with a congenital heart defect that later required a heart transplant. (Photo courtesy of Erin Morris Huttlinger) As soon as Paul Cardall was born, doctors knew something was terribly wrong. He was a blue baby. Oxygenated blood wasn’t pumping properly through his body. At only 22 hours old, Cardall underwent…

Katie Hinson had open-heart surgery at age 5. Combining her love for art and helping others, Hinson organizes ‘Strokes for Strokes,’ a workshop for stroke survivors and caretakers to  create art and share their stories. (Photo by Abby Murphy Photo) A red wagon. A blue easel. A sunny atrium. Katie Hinson remembers those snippets of…