Hello. You may not know me, but I am Maria Galarza-Catuira and I work with your state’s Government Relations Director at the American Heart Association. As an American Heart Association staffer, I know that what we do makes an impact. I know, firsthand, what that impact is.
John, my husband, went to Montefiore Hospital on November 7, 2017 to have triple bypass surgery. If you met John, prior to his surgery, you would have thought he was the picture of health. He is, except for his heart. He has heart disease and it is a hereditary condition.
At 47 years old, he did what everyone is supposed to do and get their yearly physical. During his stress test, his doctor saw a tiny blip. That lead to further testing. That testing showed that John had three coronary arteries that were obstructed. So, on November 7th at 7 am, he went in for his surgery. Since that day, our family has been healing. I say that because when one person has cardiovascular disease…it truly does affect the whole family.
Less than a month after John’s surgery, we also learned that his Mom was going to have double bypass surgery. Her recovery will be a little harder, due to her age. But. like John, we have only been given good news.
That is why John and I are so grateful for the work that the American Heart Association does. The money it raises goes towards research that creates science-based treatment guidelines, it’s legislative work advocates for changes to protect and improve the health of our communities, and their programs help people understand the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.
Now, with the help of everyone in the healing process for John and his Mom, our family is looking forward to our daughter’s wedding in March. We are also looking forward to a blessed year of good health and happiness.