PALMDALE – The American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Palmdale Nov. 7 drew about 500 people and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against heart disease and stroke, organizers announced Thursday.
Participants included Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, a heart attack survivor and longtime supporter of the American Heart Association, Councilmember Fred Thompson and Time Warner Cable News anchor Mitchell Chase who served as the program emcee.
During the program, the American Heart Association shared the story of two local families that have been affected by heart disease. Mark McFarlane suffered a heart attack caused by a 99 percent blockage in one of his arteries. While the doctor was clearing the blockage, Mark’s heart stopped. Thanks to his doctor’s quick action, Mark was brought back to life with defibrillation and is enjoying his second chance at life with his wife, daughters and granddaughters.
Keyota and Faith Cole share more than just a mother-daughter bond. They were both born with a heart defect that required multiple open-heart surgeries and other procedures.
Keyota was born with a hole in her heart and had two open-heart surgeries before the age of five. In her late 20s, new heart troubles led to a third surgery. Shortly after another procedure in 2011, Keyota became pregnant. Defying all odds, Keyota gave birth to a baby girl she named Faith at full term. After open-heart surgery at only six days old, Faith opened her eyes. Several months later she had a second heart surgery. Today, both mother and daughter are thriving, thanks to research that led to the procedures that saved their lives. However, their battle against heart disease is not over. Faith is set to have a third open-heart surgery just before Christmas.
The AV Heart Walk was one of four Heart Walks held in Los Angeles County; walks were also held in Pasadena, Long Beach and Santa Clarita. The four walks drew a combined 18,000 people and raised a record $1.6 million, organizers said.
For more information about the Heart Walk, visit www.heartwalkla.org.
[Information via news release from the American Heart Association.]