HeartSmart is a health and wellness advocacy community. HeartSmart is run by three-time heart surgery survivor, advocate and speaker, Mischel Satunas.
Mischel started this website with a goal of informing, empowering and inspiring people to be better, stronger and more informed patients. We must be proactive in our own medical care.
In July of 2016, Mischel was interviewed by the very company who makes her mechanical mitral valve, CryoLife. Read more about Mischel's story by visiting their website, or click below to view her patient video.
(Note: This video is owned by CryoLife and has been shared from a public source.)
My name is Mischel Satunas, I am a three-time open heart surgery survivor.
I was born with a functional heart murmur, and have been symptomatic my entire life. After visiting a cardiologist at the age of 21, I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, but had no idea what this diagnosis actually meant for me, so I went about living my life.
Over time my symptoms worsened. I had dizziness, shortness of breath and palpitations. When I mentioned my symptoms to my doctor , I was told I had anxiety and given anxiety meds.
I lived a very active lifestyle, and enjoyed riding my bike and going to the gym with my husband. Suddenly, I was struggling to walk a flight of stairs. At age 38, during a routine annual exam, with my Gynecologist, my life would change! He placed the stethoscope to my chest and became alarmed. He immediately sent me to a cardiologist...