Amy Phurrough had just delivered her first baby, when she noticed something strange.
Amy Phurrough says, " I delivered my first child; I started having symptoms, like coughing and felt a lot of pressure, it was hard for me to sleep at night."
Amy says she was constantly tired and felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest.
Amy says, "About two weeks after that, I was having to sleep sitting up."
It was at that point, Amy decided to call the doctor. She never thought it would be anything serious, thinking maybe at the most she would need some medication.
But, that wasn't the case.
Phurrough says, "I was diagnosed with post postpartum cardiac-myopathy."
For women the symptoms can be different than those for men. In addition to chest pain or discomfort, some other warning signs are: upper back pain, extreme fatigue, and swelling of the feet or ankles.
Amy is one of the estimated 44-million women across the country affected by cardiovascular disease. Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man's disease, it's the leading cause of death for women in the United States
Amy says, "Surprised, cause I was young, 29, relatively healthy; the pregnancy was a little difficult, but I have always been healthy."
And then more devastating news.
Amy Phurrough says, "They told us we wouldn't be able to have anymore children, due to it could relapse and come back."
So Amy took her medication, and worked on getting as healthy as she could. It paid off. She now has two children, Cooper and Cameron.
With efforts like the Go Red for Women movement, the American Heart Association works hard advocating for more research and swifter action for women's heart health.
Amy Phurrough says, "If you don't take care of you, nobody else will."
And that is exactly what Amy is now doing with two very special reasons.
For more information on heart disease, call (423) 763-4400.