Watch Mellanie share her Afib / Atrial Fibrillation story with you.
Mellanie True Hills:
I am Mellanie True Hills. I am the CEO of the American Foundation for Women’s Health and of a non-profit website stopafib.org for atrial fibrillation patients. I am a heart disease survivor. About four years ago I was a hi-tech road warrior traveling almost all the time, and one evening as I got off a plane, I realized that I could barely breathe.
I thought back, I had read a USA Today article about women and heart disease and that women have different heart attack symptoms from men, and I recognized that I had two of those symptoms. Long story short, it wasn’t a heart attack, but it was a 95% blockage in a major coronary artery.
So they took me into the operating room to open up the artery and to give me a stent and blown angioplasty in the stent. As I was on the operating table and they were opening, they were putting in the stent and they were opening up the blood vessel, I could hear going on around me a little bit of a frantic tone.
The doctor was saying, “It’s too short, get a longer guide wire, get a longer guide wire.” They got a longer guide wire but the doctor was still struggling. My blockage was at a juncture and putting in the stent in one side was cutting off blood flow to the other, and they almost lost me on the operating table.
I knew from getting a second chance, that there was something that I needed to do. So I started researching and I learned that heart disease is the number one killer of women and stroke is number three and that we lose more women to heart attacks than men, and most women think that breast cancer is our number one issue but it’s not.
When you take heart disease and stroke together, they kill ten times more women than breast cancer and twice all cancers combined. So I decided to use my second chance to tell women about their risk of heart disease and stroke, and more importantly what they could do so they could avoid what I have been through.
So I moved on to sharing the message full time to telling women about heart disease. So I speak at American Heart Association, Go Red For Women luncheons, speak at women’s heart health events for hospitals, continue to write, to speak and to spread the word, and along the way I had the opportunity to write a book, A Woman’s Guide to Saving Her Own Life – The Heart Program for Health and Longevity, and the goal of that, I started out with a goal of saving 100,000 women.
I have now changed, braced my sights a bit, and by the time my days on this earth are through, I want to have impacted the lives of five million women through speeches, through books, through interviews, and it's really important that we save women, we save women’s lives.
Women don’t have to go through what I have been through, and I want to do everything I can to keep them from having to go through it.
Heart Survivor, Author, and Speaker Mellanie is a heart survivor and the author of A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life: The HEART Program for Health & Longevity. After having a brush with death in emergency heart surgery, Mellanie now uses her second chance to coach individuals in creating healthy lifestyles and organizations in creating healthy, productive workplaces.
Heart disease is the #1 killer, and stroke is #3. In the US each day, we lose nearly 3,000 men and women to heart disease and stroke. Forty per cent of us will get, and die from, heart disease or stroke. But it is preventable, if you know what to do.
Women have different heart symptoms than men, and they're typically very subtle, so for women, the first symptom is frequently a heart attack. Knowing those symptoms can save your life.
Mellanie's mission is to spread awareness of how to save your own life. She provides a message of hope and encouragement, sharing how to take control, decrease stress, and protect against heart disease. Audiences consistently say, You changed my life.
To further this mission, Mellanie is the founder and CEO of the American Foundation for Women's Health.
Mellanie also works with organizations that want healthy, productive workplaces to decrease stress and keep employees healthy, including how to leverage technology and culture in doing so.
Internet Pioneer and e-Business Strategist
Mellanie was also an Internet pioneer at J.C. Penney Company, Inc., over a decade ago, where she led the creation of one of the early corporate web sites, as well as an intranet and supplier extranet.
At Dell Inc., she was the executive in charge of creating and executing Dell’s intranet vision and strategy. At Cisco Systems, Inc., she was an e-Business Strategy Thought Leader in Cisco’s Global High-Tech Internet Business Solutions Practice, where she served as a Trusted Advisor to top executives of some of Cisco’s largest high tech customers.
As a renowned Internet visionary, she is the author of two intranet and groupware best-sellers, Intranet Business Strategies and Intranet as Groupware, published by John Wiley & Sons. She wrote for numerous business and technology publications, including a regular syndicated column for the Dallas Business Journal and other city business journals.
She addressed audiences of hundreds and thousands at some of the earliest Internet events, in locations as diverse as Montreal, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and New Delhi, and has keynoted adjacent to such Internet luminaries as Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web. She was also a celebrity judge at the First India Internet Awards, in New Delhi, India.
In addition to being a wife and mother, Mellanie is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association for Williamson County and speaks and does media appearance on their behalf to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke.
She is also Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Texas Alumni Association, a member of Women in Technology International (WITI), the National Speakers Association (NSA), the Heart of Texas chapter of the National Speakers Association, and the Austin chapter of Mended Hearts.
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