Concord’s Ella Denney Inspires Crowd at NH Heart Walk

Denney shares heroic battle with heart disease to 300 people at the June 2nd event in Manchester

Written by Ella Denney

At 15 years old, I began experiencing palpitations and episodes that would later be diagnosed as Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT. For those unaware, SVT is a congenital heart disease that is described as an abnormally fast heartbeat due to an electrical issue in the upper chambers.

During these episodes, I would have a heart rate of over 270 beats per minute. This affected my life in tremendous ways. Everywhere I went, I feared I would have an episode and have to deal with it again. I can remember one time I was in school, I had to be taken out of class to be seen by the nurse during another scary episode. This is not something a kid wants to go through, but unfortunately, it was my reality.

To fix my condition, I have had two cardiac ablations because the first one ended up being unsuccessful. Going through cardiac treatment was one of the most challenging things I have had to go through both mentally and physically, and I stand here in front of you today as a survivor, and to advocate for others like me. Being diagnosed with a congenital heart disease completely changed my outlook and purpose in life.

As you can see, I am currently serving as Miss Gate City in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program. Through competing, I have created my community service initiative to advocate for those who have been in similar situations as I have. With this initiative, I served as one of the American Heart Association’s National Ambassadors in 2022, put together a fundraiser where I donated 100 care bags to the cardiac unit of Boston Children’s Hospital, and hosted a CPR class for people around me to become certified. Doing things like this is so important to me to keep advocating for heart disease and supporting those affected by it.

Shortly after creating my platform, one of my biggest inspirations in life, my dad, suddenly passed away from cardiac arrest. My dad, Edward Denney, lived life to the fullest and encouraged everyone around him to do the same. He was an incredible father, and never missed a performance or important event.

Since his passing, he has not been in attendance for any pageants, holidays, or even my high school graduation. This should be a wake -up call for your heart health to be a top priority. He was tragically taken from this world, and no one should ever have to go through what he or my family went through, because heart disease is so common. I encourage you all to be mindful of your health, be proactive, see doctors regularly, and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Heart disease is not only my past and present, it is my future, and it could be yours too. I walk today in honor of myself and my own experiences, my dad’s story, and for everyone else who may be affected by heart disease in their lifetime. But I don’t just take today to walk, I dedicate my life and my initiative to advocating every day for people like me and my dad.