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The Heart Community

Helping Everyone Achieve

Resilience through Transformation.

Grief Consultant, Podcast, and Author with Dr. Naesha Parks, Ed.D

Join a community of people going through life-changing events.

My Story

10 days after giving birth, I had a pulmonary embolism.
3 days after that I had a spontaneous artery dissection and a heart attack.

"I had a less than a 5% chance to live."

I died for 28 minutes on an operating room table in 2008. Once I was revived, I was put into an induced coma for a month and a half with my chest cavity open. I was given a less than 5% chance I would live. The events that unfolded during this time, and the life I’ve lived since then, has taught me that with a strong purpose miracles can happen.

 

I don’t remember much of the day my world changed. I had just given birth to my son 10 days prior.  I remember my friend taking me to a restaurant for a diet coke. From what I am told by my doctors, I had a pulmonary embolism on that day and 3 days later I had an emergency open heart surgery for a spontaneous artery dissection and a heart attack. The doctors worked tirelessly and saved me, but I died 28 minutes prior to the surgery. After I was resuscitated, it was determined that I needed a heart transplant to have a chance to live. However, the odds were pretty uncertain whether I would have full cognitive function even with a new heart because my brain went without oxygen for 28 minutes. My family was being told to prepare for the worst.

 

Looking back now, I know God was directing my path to the hospital that day. My first miracle was the doctor that was put on my case. My surgeon is a practicing Hindu, but later told me he decided to pray to my God to save me. He decided after the surgery to leave my chest cavity open and fought to find me a heart so I could be a mother to my newborn. He faced trials during my medical treatment because a heart did become available during the time I was in a coma. However, the heart was in Colorado and it would require me to be airlifted to receive the heart. He knew I would die in transit and he made the incredibly hard choice to turn it down. 

 

When all was looking lost, my second miracle happened. My levels improved and I was stable enough to have surgery again and close my chest. My heart which we thought would never make it, is still the heart that is beating in my chest today. I am considered a medical miracle. Often,  I travel with my surgeon to tell our story.

 

My third miracle and the miracle that I believe proves that God is directing my path and purpose is a vision I had on the last day of my coma. An angel appeared to me in my hospital room. It glittered with gold I had never seen in this world and was a young child. I remember I kept saying, “I am not done yet. I am not finished.” Every time I said that to the angel, a deeper understanding of that statement transformed me. The angel did not really speak, but an understanding of what I needed to finish flowed through me. In that talk with the angel, it became clear that I am empowered to help those that need support, or feel as if they are not strong enough to lead from where they are. I am gifted with the sight to distinguish the tools someone needs to lead and how to help them develop their talents. Images of the mentees I mentored filled my vision and I knew that I was not finished developing leaders.

 

After I woke up, my fourth miracle happened. My cognitive functions were normal and my purpose and understanding of life were renewed. I understand leadership in a changed way because of my experiences and the talk with the angel. God taught me to lean on him when the situation has no hope and gave me the foresight to understand that survival is not always in my hands. Through the most difficult times, I learned to become a better leader and my purpose is to share that gift with others.

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Our experiences have changed our lives. Let's talk about how we moved past it and things that helped.

Read Her Book ↓

The Heart Feels First

A Story of Revival and Recovery

Imagine experiencing the joy of childbirth only to have your world turned upside down nine days later. This is the true story of Naesha Parks. After blacking out, she went to the hospital where a blood clot was found, but doctors soon discovered that she was also experiencing a rare and deadly spontaneous coronary artery dissection, where two of the arteries of her heart had completely split. While on the operating table, Naesha died.

 

Doctors worked to revive her, but were not optimistic about her outcome. After being in a medically induced coma with her chest open for nine days, finally, slowly, she started to improve.

 

Through her own account and through the contributions of friends, family, doctors, and surgeons, The Heart Feels First: A Story of Revival and Recovery is a unique and unprecedented look at what it means to survive and witness a miracle and how life finds a way to transition into a new normal.

In the News ↓

You’re so young to have that scar.
Naesha Parks’ new book tells how heart attack strengthened faith
Woman’s recovery turns out to be more rare than disease
SCAD Survival Story Video
Ask the Experts – a conversation hosted by SCAD Alliance

This Heart Attack Targets Young, Active Women And Doctors Don’t Really Know Why The early research that exists today is thanks to a strong partnership with patients and cardiologists. “You’re

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February 25, 2024

Naesha Parks is acutely aware of every single beat of her heart. She wasn't always. On a fateful day in late 2008, she kissed her 10-day old son goodbye and

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January 8, 2023

Naesha Parks believes it was divine inspiration that led her to take her sudden bad feeling more seriously and urge a friend to call 911. She suddenly remembered a friend

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January 8, 2023

Dr. Naesha Parks began her journey with SCAD in 2008 just ten days after giving birth to her son. After experiencing chest pain, she learned that she’d developed blot clots

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January 8, 2023

Ask the Experts -- a conversation hosted by SCAD Alliance Welcome to Ask the Experts! https://www.facebook.com/SCADalliance/videos/257996598875933/

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January 8, 2023