Home » There’s life after heart failure — this Black woman is endeavoring to prove it

There’s life after heart failure — this Black woman is endeavoring to prove it

by The Grio

As attention on the Black maternal health crisis and Black maternal mortality rate increases, advocates would like to add those who survive their complications but cope with chronic health issues to the conversation. 

“The maternal health crisis can have a lifelong impact,” Tina Marsden, a Black postpartum heart failure survivor, told theGrio during February, which is National Heart Health Month. “In addition to addressing the maternal mortality rate, we really need to start putting some emphasis and focus on maternal morbidity, that’s women that are living with these conditions after we receive the diagnosis.”

After surviving postpartum heart failure and living with complications to this day, Marsden, a mother of two living in Atlanta, is endeavoring to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else. She’s also striving to demonstrate that there’s life after heart failure.

“We can live life beyond that diagnosis,” she said.

Marsden runs the Tina Marie Marsden Foundation and advocates for maternal and heart health and living with a disability. She also launched the online platform Why Advocate, where others can be connected with resources. Through her work, she has cultivated a community of survivors and a system of support for others. She is doing this work at a time when Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate of any other demographic, with heart disease as the leading cause.

Marsden noted that even with all of the increased attention the Black maternal health crisis has been receiving, “We can’t prevent 100%.”

She added, “There are still going to be women that receive some type of diagnosis. We want to be there to be a means of support.”

Part of Marsden’s “why” is the memory of receiving her diagnosis in 2002, after giving birth to her second child in her late 20s.

She said initial warning signs, such as shortness of breath, were dismissed as symptoms to be…

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