Stories of Gratitude

Read the inspiring stories from the people who tell it best – patients.

George Dean: Aortic Stenosis

George Dean: Aortic Stenosis

More than 11 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have heart valve disease, and more than 25,000 Americans die from heart valve disease every year. For George Dean, 66, his aortic valve stenosis was not symptomatic, but it had gotten progressively worse in the decade since it was initially diagnosed, from mild to severe.

Jessica Gottlieb: Congenital Heart Defect

Jessica Gottlieb: Congenital Heart Defect

In May 2019, Jessica Gottlieb and her husband Brent were eagerly looking forward to celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. They’d had more than their share of heartbreak over the years, losing a baby girl on the day of her delivery in December of 2017 and then...

Nancy Russell: Heart Transplant

Nancy Russell: Heart Transplant

Nancy Russell of Cable, Wisconsin, is extremely grateful for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) research that saved her life. For more than a decade, various medications and devices had helped treat her congestive heart failure, which she had developed...

Kelley Hoolihan: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Kelley Hoolihan: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

In 2018, Kelley Hoolihan felt like she could not possibly represent the face of women and heart disease. She was just 38, a wife and mother of three beautiful children, a high-intensity exerciser, and as she explained, at one of the happiest points in her life. Yet in...

Christine Pfarr: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Christine Pfarr: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

As a retired registered nurse living in Southern Minnesota, Christine Pfarr, 66, has always known how important it is for people to know their own bodies and be their own health care advocates. She just never imagined that she would have to put her own knowledge and...

Lynette Crane: Heart Attack

Lynette Crane: Heart Attack

As a former ballet dancer for many years who exercised vigorously, watched her weight and had healthy eating habits, Lynette Crane felt she was the “least likely candidate” for a heart attack. A psychologist by trade, she’d been a stress management expert for 30 years and even wrote a book on it.

Missy Lavintman: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

Missy Lavintman: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

At age 65, Missy Lavintman considered herself to be in great shape. She was a lifelong exercise enthusiast, mother of five children, and was actively working multiple jobs as a schoolteacher and program leader for Weight Watchers. Missy figured that she was completely...

Lynn Hammrich: Chronic Total Occlusion

Lynn Hammrich: Chronic Total Occlusion

Lynn Hammrich is no stranger to heart disease and its impact on his family. At age 41, he had his first heart attack, more than 20 years ago. Over subsequent years, he required coronary artery stents on four occasions, including a long series of stents in one of the...

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