Heart Month Videos

Patient Stories

Discover how leading heart specialists at Montefiore-Einstein gave these patients a second chance at life against all odds.


Thirty-eight-year-old father of two, Joseph Downs, has spent much of his life playing soccer. From pick-up games at recess to indoor adult leagues in his twenties, many of Joseph’s favorite memories took place on the soccer field. But while his unbridled enthusiasm for the sport may have been without equal, an undiagnosed condition silently held him back.

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Jessica Green had been living with a damaged heart for as long as she can remember. At fifteen she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, and by twenty-one, she had a pacemaker. But Jessica never let those things slow her down. She would run, play volleyball, and shoot hoops without issue. Until everything changed just before her twenty-ninth birthday.

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Seventy-year-old Phyllis Steel is one of the most athletic retirees you’ll ever meet. Skiing moguls, playing tennis, she does it all. But her favorite time of each day is the forty-five minutes she carves out to swim. But something threatened her athletic lifestyle when she developed an irregular beat in the upper chambers of her heart.

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Before getting sick, Mary-Margaret was forever in a state of perpetual motion. A respected pharmacist, mother, devoted tennis player, community volunteer, and tireless marathoner, she filled her days to the brim and seemed unfamiliar with the concept of slowing down. Mary-Margaret was suffering from undiagnosed Lyme carditis. Over a two-year period the condition morphed into a mysterious arrhythmia that took her out of commission and away from the things she loved.

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