Faces of Cardiovascular Disease Featured PFCC Advisors
The UMHS/CVC launched its Washtenaw County Heart Walk campaign on Monday, February 15 with its Faces of Cardiovascular Disease event. The event featured patients Courtney Alexander and PFCC Advisor Doug George and was facilitated by UMHS staff member and PFCC Advisor Deidre Todd. The three cardiovascular patients visited the Danto Auditorium to share their personal journeys of living with cardiovascular disease with Frankel CVC staff. Attendees heard moving stories from our panel on what it’s like to be a cardiovascular patient, how it affected their lives, and why it is important to support the Heart Walk Campaign. We thank our panel for sharing their experiences with the group!
More about the speakers…
- Courtney Alexander is a University of Michigan graduate and former U-M field hockey player. At 33, Courtney went into cardiac arrest and had a heart attack; she was saved by her husband who began CPR and quick-acting police officers who had an AED in the back of their patrol car. Courtney was in great shape and had no family history of heart disease. She is a strong advocate for AEDs, and has raised money to put AEDs in all on-duty police cars in her town.
- Doug George had his first heart attack at age 36, and had five bypasses. He experienced several more heart attacks and angioplasties over the years to open up the blockage. In the fall of 2007, Doug had another heart attack, and was told by his cardiologist that there was nothing they could do. He requested a transfer to the UMHS, where he received a heart transplant in February 2008.
- Deidre C. Todd has been a UMHS employee for over 25 years. She was diagnosed with post-partum cardiomyopathy in 2010, five months after giving birth to her son Alex. Deidre strives to educate others, especially women on recognizing symptoms not typically associated with heart conditions. She currently serves as co-chair of the UMHS/CVC Heart Walk Committees and on the event’s logistics committee.