Heart Disease Survivor Educates Others on Health

RICHMOND (WRIC) – The 8News team is proud to support the American Heart Association and go red for women.

Heart disease will affect 43 million women this year. One in three will die and it can happen to anyone.

Krysten Young-Benham is surrounded by red — love and support from her Wells Fargo co-workers.

“These aren't just people I work with. This is literally my family away from home,” she says. “It's been a journey the last seven months or so.”

Last may while running like she always had, Young-Benham became very short of breath.

She'd developed a cough and thought it was bronchitis, but days later a chest x-ray and tests by a cardiologist uncovered the worst.

“They determined my heart was almost the size of my lung. He told me to pack a bag and head to St. Mary's because I was in heart failure.”

The 35-year-old also suffered a stroke.

She recovered and now educates others about heart disease, how it affects all age groups, races and even the most active.

“Obviously it's not about being healthy,” she says. “My body was literally shutting down so now I'm more cognizant of listening for my body.”

Young-Benham is almost back to 100 percent and runs again.

“Just this Monday I ran my fastest mile, 7.48 so I'm kind of excited about that.”

And with each splash of red in her life, she celebrates her second chance.

“I don't think what happened to me was for me. I think what happened to me was for me to help someone else.”

The American Heart Association invites everyone to “Go Red” Saturday at the Short Pump Town Center Macy's. There will be free heart screenings, CPR demos and more.

For more details click here.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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