SuperTalk Mississippi

American Heart Association Provides Heart Ambassadors: Battle Buddies for Fighting Heart Valve Disease

JACKSON, MISS- Mississippi’s heart disease numbers are staggering. African-Americans are more likely to suffer from heart valve disease than others. 

The American Heart Association recognizes that there’s more to heart disease than just the physical impairments.

“For some, there’s the question of ‘why me?'” says Robert Epps, an ambassador with the AHA, “for me, I was an athlete, didn’t eat meat, low cholesterol, all that stuff.”

Epps had a heart valve replaced twenty years ago. He didn’t have many symptoms leading up to the discovery that a new valve was needed.

He says that an ambassador helps with healing on not just a physical level, but an emotional one as well.

“You’re not alone. Someone is there to help you go through the process,” Epps says, “of course every process is different, but there are people who understand what you are going through.”

Symptoms of heart valve disease are often unseen, but can be as mild as feeling somewhat breathless, tired, or feeling faint.

“Some people attribute these symptoms to just getting older, or being out of shape,” says Dr. Eldrin Lewis with the American Heart Association, “because they happen so gradually over time. But severe symptoms can include swelling in the legs.”

If you have any concerns about heart disease, including heart valve disease, contact your doctor.

If  you’d like to use your experience fighting heart disease to help others, contact the American Heart Association at

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More