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'Beating like I just ran a marathon': Phoenix mom spreads maternal heart disease awareness

Phoenix mom Jessica Diede was diagnosed with what's commonly referred to as maternal heart disease when she was more than 20 weeks pregnant.

PHOENIX — A woman dies of heart disease in the U.S. every 80 seconds, according to the American Heart Association.

To spread awareness of heart disease, February is American Heart Month, with the first Friday of the month being National Wear Red Day to raise heart disease awareness in women. 

One Phoenix mom said a checkup for her heart made the difference between life and death. 

Jessica Diede volunteers for the American Heart Association to raise awareness about maternal heart disease. It’s something she’s passionate about because she was diagnosed with it while more than 20 weeks pregnant. 

 "Everyone was saying this could just be anxiety, maybe it's just in my head," she said. "I don’t know, so then I said can I just get checked?" 

Diede listened to her gut, and more importantly her heart. She scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist because she knew something was wrong.

RELATED: It's National Wear Red Day. Here's why you should stay on top of your heart health.

"My heart was beating like I was just running a marathon for no reason just laying in bed or doing something like that it was so fast," Diede said. 

At the time she was expecting baby number two, but she was not expecting a serious diagnosis  

"I was diagnosed in 2017 with cardiomyopathy and in simpler terms that means my heart was failing because of my pregnancy."

It’s commonly known as maternal heart disease. Diede said she could’ve died if she didn’t get checked.  

 "{The team of medical professionals} said 'listen, if you don’t take this medication, if you don’t treat your heart, your heart will fail when you push for delivery.'"

Diede now raises awareness as a volunteer for the American Heart Association, reiterating that even young healthy women such as herself can be affected.

"I just want to save mommies, that’s my whole thing, spreading the word and awareness with heart disease and that it can happen during pregnancy and when you’re only 27 years old."

She encourages all women to schedule an appointment and push for answers when it comes to their health.  

Credit: Jessica Diede

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