COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. But the good news is it is also preventable.
Doctors say maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure, exercise and not smoking can all greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Newsleader 9 has teamed up with St. Francis Hospital to bring you stories of people who are survivors of life-threatening heart illness.
We talked with a Columbus woman who proves you're never too young to be heart smart after having to undergo open heart surgery at the age of 24. We also spent time with a Harris County volunteer firefighter who cheated death not once but twice and now shares his story in hopes of helping others become more heart aware.
There's also the story of a Columbus woman who learned it's never too late to become heart healthy even after a lifetime of heart problems.
February is American Heart Month and Saint Francis is sponsoring its "One Heart. Be Smart. Health Fair." Saturday, Feb. 25. The health fair will offer free screenings, educational displays, and mini-seminars to help people become more heart healthy. WTVM is co-sponsoring the health fair.
St. Francis is the region's cardiac hospital, providing a comprehensive range of cardiovascular services, including the only open-heart surgery program.
In 2016, the hospital entered into an affiliation with the Emory Clinic's Cardiothoracic Surgery Program, allowing the hospital to expand its services.
For more details on St. Francis' heart fair click here.