Charlotte woman shares her story battling heart disease

- It's a disease that kills 1 in 3 women and the American Heart Association is raising awareness by using today as "wear red day" to spread awareness for the leading cause of death globally.

Nearly 44 million women in America are living with the disease and for Amy Kochan going red is part of her daily life.

"I'm always determined that I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for my son Jackson. We wouldn't have found it and my doctors always said you're a walking miracle," Amy said.

After the birth of her first son five years ago, Amy says she wasn't feeling like herself.

"I was told it was postpartum depression, I  was told I was your hormones averaging out," Amy said.

After months of testing her primary care doctor made a shocking discovery.

"Finally realized I had been born with a congenital heart defect that had been undetected for almost 36 years and due to the strain of the pregnancy my heart was enlarged," Amy said.

An extensive surgery added a device to help her heart. The success of the surgery allowed the Kochan family to regain some normalcy and a few months later another surprise, Amy was pregnant with her second child.

"Most people don't realize that 80% of heart disease is preventable really through exercise and diet and knowing your risk, I encourage our boys to get outside, play, move around, we aren't a sit at home in front of the television family anymore," Amy said.

Nearly 80% of women have at least one risk factor. Amy is now using her story to help others.


 

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