Heart disease took Tina from her family too soon

tina's family

Three of Tina’s children (l to r): Aaron, Ann with daughter Tropea, and Kim

Tina cherished every moment with her family. That’s why a 25th anniversary cruise with all of her 5 children and 10 grandkids meant so much.   

She had been planning the trip for years. So when she started feeling ill just weeks before, she did everything she needed to do to get better. Her chest pains subsided. Her energy came back. And her doctor gave the go-ahead. 

<p>Tina and four of her grandkids.</p>

Tina and four of her grandkids.

But Tina’s heart damage was more serious than originally thought. Just a day into her trip, she couldn’t breathe and was evacuated to the nearest hospital. Her children and grandchildren were left on board, unable to be by Tina’s side as her life slipped away. 

“The doctors said it was her heart,” her daughter Kim recalls. “There was nothing anyone could do.”

“Mom loved to brag about her grandchildren. Tropea is one that she won’t ever get to meet,” says Tina's daughter Ann. 

The family misses Tina every day. But the potential of regenerative medicine gives every family hope for a future that isn’t devastated by heart disease.

This is a breakthrough that could change everything. 

Today’s treatments can prevent damaged hearts from getting worse, but they can’t reverse the damage. Dr. Kim Connelly hopes to change that with regenerative medicine. In as little as 5 to 10 years, this Heart & Stroke-funded research could grow new heart cells from a patient’s own cells so that the heart can completely repair itself. 

For the first time in history, researchers are on the verge of reversing heart damage.

Join our fight

to make breakthroughs on heart and stroke research.