Monday, February 14, 2011

Have a Heart!

On a day like Valentine's Day, you just can't help but think about the ones you love. Which is what made me think about this updated heart disease and stroke fact sheet in Research!America's Investment in research saves lives and money series:

My favorite part of this new advocacy tool: the survivor story. Here is his story:
In 1991, Mario Signorile of Margate, Florida, knew something was wrong when he suddenly lost feeling in his left arm. After some tests, Mario's doctor told him that he had blockages in his heart and, without treatment, he only had a few weeks to live.
Mario underwent a triple bypass and within weeks was back to his normal activities—including going on cruises with his wife Mary.
Eleven years later, Mario suffered a heart attack that permanently damaged a third of his heart. He received an implantable defibrillator that monitors his heartbeat and administers an electric shock to his heart when there are dangerous irregularities.
In 2008, Mario's defibrillator was replaced with a newer model. The new defibrillator makes it possible for Mario’s doctors to remotely download information about his heartbeat and calibrate the defibrillator without making
an incision.
Since his first defibrillator was implanted, Mario has had only one heart attack, in 2010. He was able to go home after a brief hospital stay and, a month later, celebrated his 90th birthday with his family.
Twenty years after his initial diagnosis, Mario and Mary have watched their family grow and now enjoy visits from their great-grandchildren. "Without medical research, I wouldn't be here today," Mario says. "It prolonged my life."

Investment today saves lives and money now and tomorrow. Research conducted before I was even born helped make it possible for me to grow up with my Pop-Pop in my life; sharing birthday cakes and learning old family stories. This is one of the many reasons why I am an advocate for research. What motivates you?

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