SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The American Heart Association usually holds its annual Heart and Stroke Ball. They’ve had to do things a little differently this year. Instead of one event, they’re holding two events this week virtually including a concert on Facebook and their annual Heart and Stroke Ball, all in the name of fighting heart disease.
17-year-old Macey Wright from Sandy has always turned to music for comfort and healing.
“I was born with two deformed valves,” said Wright.
Macey was born with a congenital heart defect.
Growing up was lonely at times, with no sports and lots of time spent in the doctor’s office.
“As sad as it is, I was losing sight of who I really am. I was not only physically impaired but not emotionally connected with most of the children I hung out with.”
Then 4 years ago, Macey received a new heart.
Dr. Min said, “she had multiple heart procedures including open heart surgery at age 10 and a heart transplant at age 14. Her story is one that gives everyone in the medical community hope that positive messages shared in the broader community. Despite the world changing around us, we have dedicated teams to help and the future is bright just like Macey Wright’s.”
Intermountain Healthcare is the presenting sponsor of two virtual events by the American Heart Association. On Tuesday, June 9th, a live streaming concert on Facebook featuring Macey and her musical talents. ‘the songs I chose are the ones close to my heart that have a positive and hopeful message that I listened to when I was feeling down and having a hard time.’
Dr. Min said, “music is one of those powerful tools in healing. Studies have shown that music helps lower heart rates, blood pressure and help us de-stress. These are all contributors to heart disease.”
The second event is the Heart and Stroke Ball this Friday night on June 12th.
“We have an opportunity to come together as a community to help heart and stroke disease. It’s more important now than ever,” said Min.
Dr. David Min, Senior Medical Director of the cardiovascular clinical program at Intermountain Healthcare, says 92 million people in America have heart disease, and every 40 seconds someone dies from it. He worries during the pandemic people might not seek the help they need.
“The work we’re trying to do, increase awareness of heart disease, reassure patients, and reassure our communities that our facilities are safe,” said Min.
Macey says having the support of the American Heart Association and her team of doctors mean everything to her.
“It was always reassuring to me there was somebody there that was going to be helping me financially, emotionally any way possible and I was going to have a future. I have dreams and aspirations and I can pursue that knowing the American Heart Association is willing to put forth the efforts to beat heart disease.”
The two American Heart Association virtual events:
— Tuesday June 9th at 7pm concert on Facebook
— Friday June 12th at 7pm
35th annual Heart and Stroke Ball with virtual auction