My name is Heather VacLav and I have been a volunteer with the American Heart Association since I was a teenager. From the moment I was diagnosed with a mild aortic insufficiency at the age of fifteen, I have made it my mission to be an advocate for women’s heart health and the mission of the American Heart Association. After years of living with a heart condition, I was told by doctors in December of 2018 that I may never need open heart surgery.
On January 8, 2019, a few weeks after turning 29, the unthinkable happened. While in Atlanta for work, my aortic valve erupted in my chest, triggering a massive heart attack. The left side of my heart suffered massive trauma and stopped working altogether. To save my life, a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, was placed in my chest.
I would not be here today without the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association and supporters like you. Tune in to WFAA on Sunday, February 28th at noon to hear the rest of my story.