Heart Failure Personal Stories

Updated:Oct 28,2015

Read Queen's and Rita's heart failure stories

Managing heart failure can be a daunting task, but you have every reason to be hopeful. Real patients share their experiences.

When Mike O’Meara was diagnosed with heart failure in 2013, it came with a sobering realization that he would have to make some lifestyle changes and manage his health better. Mike and his wife Beth have partnered in managing his heart failure, and that has made all the difference. Read their story or watch their video above.

Jenn was told she had a year to live...14 years ago. Heart failure can slow patients, but it doesn't have to stop them. Just ask Jenn Schaeffer, who once feared she wouldn't see her baby turn 1. Read her story or watch her video.

An inspiring heart failure story from a patient and grandmother. Sara has risen above heart failure with high-tech and high-touch management of her condition and is now living healthy! How strength, family, hope and healthcare innovations can lead to a better life for anyone with heart failure. Read her story or watch her video.

Nicole SmithBuilding a new life after congestive heart failure
The flu. That’s what Nicole Smith thought was bothering her. She figured she would visit the ER, get a prescription and head back to work. Doctors found something else: congestive heart failure and an enlarged heart. Her cardiologist also mentioned she may need a heart transplant. “It took me a long time to be brave enough to share my story, but I have so many great ideas to help the community.”

Cynthia EssexMother of 8 who collapsed in church warns others: ‘Heart disease doesn’t look like anything’
That frightening Sunday morning of June 9, 2013, caused Cynthia Essex to make some lifestyle changes. “Life is too precious to do nothing, so I’ve told my story everywhere I’m invited. … My message is hope.”

Todd CunninghamTodd Cunningham
What Todd thought were normal signs of aging were actually symptoms of advanced heart failure, and he'd need a new heart. He recently finished cardiac rehabilitation to rebuild stamina and strength, and these days he keeps busy managing dozens of daily medications and working out with a personal trainer. He continues to watch his diet, focusing on heart-healthy foods and limiting his sodium intake.

Heart Failure

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