Estrella “Star” Fabila was born with heart disease.
But she didn’t know that until last March.
One day, as she went about her normal routine, she felt a little pain and pressure in her chest.
Fabila thought nothing of it and kept going but ended her day at the hospital.
She went to a doctor, convinced by co-workers who said Fabila did not look well. The doctor ordered an EKG.
“So after the EKG they rushed me to the ER to run more tests and calm my heart down,” Fabila said. “They didn’t really know if I was having a heart attack or not.”
She was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare heart disorder that causes a rapid heartbeat. It’s caused by electrical pathways in the heart.
Fabila had to have surgery to correct it, she said, and all she could think about was her daughter, Aaliyah.
On Thursday, Fabila and her 8-year-old daughter joined about 450 men and mostly women at the annual Go Red for Women Luncheon to raise money for the American Heart Association and raise awareness about heart conditions, like Fabila’s, among women.
The event included a keynote speech by Kat Simmons, a motivational comedian who kept the crowd laughing through lunch.
The event raised more than $193,000, according to Go Red organizers.
Bart Reagor with Reagor Dykes Auto Group wrapped up the day with an Open Your Heart appeal to encourage monetary donations for the American Heart Association. The appeal raised $29,876.
It’s important to him, he said, because of his mother.
“In 2004, she had an aneurysm and we lost her,” he said. “I wish she would have had a little more education.”
Education is one of the primary goals of the Go Red for Women campaign.
Heart disease kills about one woman every minute, according to the Go Red For Women website. And nine out of every 1,000 babies born each year have a heart defect.
After Chris and Angie Lane’s second daughter, Ellie, was born and diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, they were told they had statistically small chances of having another child with a heart condition.
Ellie, now 4, had open heart surgery just after her first birthday to correct a congenital heart defect called Transitional AV Canal, Angie said.
“She was on a heart and lung bypass machine for 35 minutes,” Angie said. “That’s where they stop the heart completely and it’s beating through a machine on the outside.”
After her surgery, Chris and Angie hoped they’d never have to watch their children go through that again — statistically, they shouldn’t have.
“We asked them (doctors) if we could have more kids,” Angie said. “They said ‘yes. This doesn’t happen twice in a family. There’s less than a 2 percent chance it’ll happen.”
Five months into her next pregnancy, sonogram images of baby Elizabeth “Lulu” showed the doctors were wrong.
“Her condition is transposition of the…