Finding strength among women
If you are a woman who has survived a heart-related event or has heart disease, you are part of a growing sisterhood in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. To connect with other women like you, Parkview has created a new support group — the WomenHeart Support Network of Parkview Heart Institute.
Trained patient volunteers lead our support group. Our goals are to:
Encourage you as you learn about your condition
Help you discover new strengths
Connect you with other women who understand your experiences
Share health information
Connect you with community resources
The WomenHeart Support Network of Parkview Heart Institute is facilitated by two local WomenHeart Champions for heart health who have completed extensive training with heart health experts at the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic. The network allows you to learn from one another and from these trained WomenHeart Champions.
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Your WomenHeart Champions
Cindy was being proactive when she scheduled a screening test for coronary artery disease in 2012. When she went in for the scan, she was told that it couldn’t be done. Cindy’s heart rate was too high, and she learned she had A-fib, a heart condition that could lead to clots, stroke or heart failure. Cindy went to the ER, where doctors shocked her heart back into a normal rhythm. When medication and another procedure couldn’t maintain a healthy heart rate, she received a pacemaker in January 2014. Now Cindy is active and feeling well.
Susan had known for years that she had a heart murmur. In early 2014, she didn’t get a prescription refill when she missed a doctor’s appointment. Susan told herself that she didn’t really need medication. Soon though, she started experiencing symptoms that she hadn’t had before. She was short of breath and tired all the time. She was rather shocked when she went back to the doctor and learned she now needed to have her mitral heart valve replaced. Following open-heart surgery in 2014, Susan is feeling like herself again.
Allison will confirm that heart disease can happen to women of any age. She was diagnosed with heart disease only weeks after her 25th birthday and a month following her wedding. While on a day trip with her husband, Allison began feeling short of breath and tired. She developed a cough. Upon returning home, testing revealed that Allison had an enlarged heart muscle and cardiomyopathy — meaning that her heart doesn’t pump efficiently. Medication and lifestyle changes didn’t improve matters. The doctors determined that she was at risk for cardiac arrest, so Allison received a pacemaker in January 2015. She’s back to work full-time and enjoys life.
When Dianne began to experience shortness of breath, she became worried that long-term use of asthma medicine was causing heart problems. She was diagnosed and treated for an enlarged heart and stenosis of the mitral heart valve. Unfortunately, other conditions developed over the years: A-fib, congestive heart failure and stenosis of the aortic valve. Dianne takes medication, and most recently, she had her aortic valve replaced with the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. In Dianne’s words, she’s doing “fantastic” and enjoys her seven children, 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The WomenHeart Support Network of Parkview Heart Institute will meet on the second Thursday each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Parkview Center for Healthy Living on the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus. For questions about monthly meetings, call (260) 672-6500.
Parkview Center for Healthy Living
Parkview Regional Medical Center campus
11123 Parkview Plaza Drive, Suite 200
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
Learn more about women's heart health. For information about other services available to you through Parkview Heart Institute, call (260) 266-2444 or toll free at (855) 762-7762.