2020 Faces of Heart Disease – Go Red For Women Bay Area Houston

Bay Area Houston Galveston Go Red For Women 2020 Campaign, The American Heart Association

These 5 women each represent heart disease in some form and each of these strong, beautiful women are survivors. For the 2nd year, the American Heart Association Bay Area Houston Galveston Go Red For Women campaign put the spotlight on local women and here are their stories.

This was my last campaign shooting for AHA in Houston and these women did not disappoint!

* I relocated to Memphis, TN in Aug 2020 *

2020 Faces of Heart Disease Team

Sponsored by: Cornerstone Speciality Hospital of Clear Lake

American Heart Association: Go Red For Women Bay Area Houston & Galveston

Shot on location in Seabrook, Texas

THE CREATIVE TEAM – Houston (Clear Lake area) Texas

Concept/Photography: Sandy Adams Photography – IG @sap_portraits

Hair: Nicole Ann Hair Studio – IG @nicoleannehairstudio

Makeup: Salvador Hair Studio – IG @salvadordoeshair

Wardrobe: Jill’s Fashions & Bridals – IG @Jillsfashions

Shoot Location: The Waters Edge – IG @waters_edge_venue

Catering: Robinette & Company Caterers – IG @robinettecaterers

Eva Baker in her own words…

I was 5 years old when I was first diagnosed with a heart murmur.  As I grew older, it became louder and I was eventually referred to a cardiac specialist, who diagnosed me with Subaortic Stenosis.  Surgery was performed a few years later, when I was 16 years old, to remove the excess membrane from beneath my valve in order to protect it from damage.  The experience was very hard on me as a teenager, but I did recover quickly, and gained so many coping skills that have aided me in the years since.  

I am now in me second year at University of Houston, Clear Lake and I feel great!  I love my classes and professors and very much look forward to my future.  I also very much enjoy telling my story and I hope me doing so will give courage and reassurance to other young people who face heart surgery or any type of cardiac procedure.  I am most thankful for my family and all my doctors and nurses. I am a survivor!

Brandi Arnold in her own words…

I never thought at 42, I would be telling people how last year at 41, I had survived 3 heart attacks.  Nor did I think I would ever tell anyone that one of those heart attacks was a “widow maker”, which is a type of heart attack that’s caused by a 100 percent blockage of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. This resulted in 2 stents placed in my LAD.

Strangely, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any other heart problems.  At the time of my first heart attack, which was a tear in my left descending artery (the widow maker), I was doing laundry and both arms went numb. I felt the pressure in my chest and began sweating profusely. Luckily, my husband was at home and knew my “situation” was dire and called 911, which no doubt saved my life. 

If something feels “a little off” with your body, listen to the signs and get checked out immediately. I am here as a constant reminder that heart disease has no age or gender and spares no one. I am a survivor!

Alma Solis in her own words…

I was around age 38, when I started having symptoms of High Blood Pressure (HBP), which for me was uncontrollable migraines and flushing of the skin.  Then, at the age of 45, I developed elevated cholesterol.

I represent a huge population of American women who have either diagnosed HBP or unknown HBP.  And yet, many of the women with diagnosed HBP still do not get it treated.

Uncontrolled HBP can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious life threats. Nearly half of U.S. adults have HBP and 45.6% of those with HBP do not have it controlled.  African American women are disproportionately affected by heart disease, leading the death rate regardless of age. I am a survivor!

Emmeline Dodd in her own words…

At the age of 25, after several bouts of Thrombophlebitis in my legs and lungs, I tested positive for a genetic mutation that causes blood clots. Because of the clots in my lungs, I developed Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib).  An ablation procedure was attempted and failed.  My doctors then decided that medication to slow my heart would be used to treat the A-fib. The meds did slow my heart, in fact, they slowed it so much that twice my heart stopped beating completely.  Fortunately, I was wearing a heart monitor and went to the ER immediately.  A pacemaker was implanted in 2015. 

I now lead a fairly normal life (albeit with purple legs) as long as I take three pills daily for the A-fib and the blood clotting.

I am beyond thankful to the American Heart Association, for the part they played in the research that has given me so many chances at life. I am a SURVIVOR!

Meloney Bean in her own words…

At 44, I had my first heart attack and another one 9 months later.  I was so shocked since I considered myself in good health overall.  I experienced severe burning in my chest, shoulders and in the upper part of my back, shortly after that I became nauseous. In the ER, the first EKG was clear, but when the pain returned, a second EKG showed there was indeed a problem. A trip to the Cath Lab warranted 2 stents in my OM artery and I was officially diagnosed with Coronary Spasms. 

Overcoming fear has been my biggest obstacle.  Learning to live in the moment, be less stressed, and adapt a healthier way of eating have all made a huge impact on my life and my family’s. I am a survivor!