Central Texas heart condition survivor shares emotional story

Posted at 7:39 AM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 15:17:23-04

It's a big event in Central Texas meant to raise awareness regarding heart disease and strokes among women. The "Go Red for Women" luncheon will take place Thursday. It's being held at the Waco Convention Center.

The event is being hosted by the Waco Division of the American Heart Association. Virginia Ellis will be the featured survivor speaker at the event.

"If my story can help one person, it's just a blessing to me," Ellis said.

At 53 years old, Ellis found out she had a heart condition.

"I was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy. I was actually in very good health," Ellis said. "I never went to the doctor because I was actually never sick. I didn't have any history in my family, I wasn't expecting it."

But she's grateful doctors caught it when they did. Fortunately, the now 59-year-old has the problem under control.

"When they first diagnosed me, my heart was working at 30-percent. But now, it's working at 35-percent. I have a defibrillator, I have medication and have just learned me about taking care of myself and my heart," Ellis said.

To give you a perspective on this issue, it's estimated 44 million women in the United States are affected by heart disease and strokes. In fact, it's considered the number one and number five killers among women.

"Listen to your body, listen to what your body is telling you," Ellisa said. "Go to the doctor, you don't have to be sick to go to the doctor. Go to wellness checks, those doctors are there for a reason," Ellis said.

Former first daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. The event is sold out and more than 900 people are expected to attend.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.