There are over 80 million people in the United States living with cardiovascular disease, and every one faces unique personal challenges in managing his or her condition.  The patients featured in the stories below have agreed to share their experiences with us – and with others who may benefit from understanding the struggles and accomplishments they have faced on the road to a healthier heart.
Check back often, as we plan on featuring more real-life stories of heart patients, and how they have worked closely with their cardiologists, families and health care team to achieve the best heart health possible.

Bob's Story: Atrial Fibrillation

Learn how Bob Ek and his cardiologist, Scott J. Pollak, MD, FACC, work as a team to manage Bob’s atrial fibrillation.

Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith is CardioSmart

After a heart attack, Bradley Smith dramatically improved his heart health and reduced his risk for a second heart attack by attending cardiac rehab, changing his diet and taking his medications faithfully.

Brenda Keene is CardioSmart

Heart disease was a common thread in her family, but Brenda Keene was not going to give up after being diagnosed with coronary disease.

Cindy's Story: A Family History of Heart Disease

Cindy Hauck had a family history of heart disease, but has partnered with her cardiologist H.B Karunaratne MD, FACC, to improve her heart health.
David Wang

David Wang is CardioSmart

A heart attack during a work event changed David Wang's life. After working with his cardiologist and cardiac rehab team, David now celebrates "the gift of perspective."


Deborah Flaherty-Kizer is CardioSmart

Deborah Flaherty-Kizer was born with a heart defect. Instead of allowing her condition to limit her, she regularly challenges herself physically and serves as a mentor to other heart patients.

Deidra's Story: Heart Valve Disease

Deidra Jacobs, her cardiologist, Hani Seifein MD, FACC, and her surgeon, Kevin Accola, MD, FACC, successfully manage her mitral valve prolapse through surgery.

Don's Story: Cardiac Rehab

Don Fick suffered a heart attack while on vacation with his family. After his heart attack, Don made cardiac rehab a priority in his recovery.


Kimberly Binkley is CardioSmart

Kimberly Binkley was diagnosed with heart failure at 39. Her heart was functioning at less than 5 percent. Today, she's an 11-year survivor committed to maintaining her heart health through exercise and diet.

Lisa Cox is CardioSmart

Triathlete Lisa Cox was on a routine run with friends when she went into sudden cardiac arrest. As a survivor, she now stresses the importance of knowing your family history and prevention.

Lori Cooper is CardioSmart

After being diagnosed with heart failure, Lori committed to the self-care strategy recommended by her doctor and to enjoying life to the fullest.

Marcus McCleery is CardioSmart

An AFib patient, Marcus lost a considerable amount of weight through diet and exercise. He maintains his heart-healthy ways and passes them on to fellow heart patients through volunteer work.

Peter’s Story: Heart Attack

Heart attack survivor Peter Austin and his cardiologist, Pradipkumar Jamnadas MD, FACC, partner to make sure Peter’s first heart attack is also his last.

Richard’s Story: Heart Failure

Learn how heart failure patient Richard Neuman and his cardiologist, Mark Milunski MD, FACC work as a team to manage Richard’s condition.

Robby's Story: Tetralogy of Fallot

Robby Motta was born with Tetralogy of Fallot—four defects within his heart. Eight years later, Robby is an active second-grader.

Roger Johnson is CardioSmart

Cardiac rehabilitation helped place Roger on the road to recovery after a massive heart attack.