At just the age of 22, Monique Acosta House was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She had brushed off her constant exhaustion as stress from working hard at work and in college – until an echocardiogram revealed that her heart wasn’t pumping as well as it should. What transpired involved years of medication, a high-risk pregnancy, and eventually, a heart transplant.
Through this journey, Monique has become an advocate for heart health and maternal health, diversity among clinical trial participants, and strong communication between doctors and their patients. “Most of the people in the clinical trial I participated in were white men over the age of 60, but it saved my life.” For that reason, she encourages others to develop strong relationships with their doctors and advocate for their health. “Pay attention to symptoms,” she stresses, “and seek help if something doesn’t seem right – don’t wait.”
Ms. House is a mother, survivor, patient advocate, Women Heart Champion, American Heart Association Go Red for Woman Real Woman, and professional project manager. She lives in Virginia with her son Asa.
My son, Asa is why. I didn’t want him not to have his mother as I experienced.