(Carol Conley, pictured second from right, at the 2019 Southern New England Go Red for Women Luncheon, with some of the Class of 2019 Heart2Heart Storytellers)
In 2017, Carol Conley was at lunch with her boss when she lost vision in one of her eyes. She was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a heart attack and a stroke.
This story is by Carol Conley, in her own words.
As a heart attack and stroke survivor, I was honored when the essay I submitted about my experience was chosen by the Southern New England American Heart Association and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island as part of the 2019 Heart2Heart Storytellers Campaign.
To help support the important work of the American Heart Association, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island made a $25,000 contribution to the American Heart Association in the name of the Class of 2019 Heart2Heart Storytellers.
Being a 2019 Heart2Heart Storyteller has been emotional, educational and fun… all at the same time!
In December 2018 I was fortunate to meet two of my fellow Storytellers, Jamie Coyle and Lynette Lopes, when we filmed a video to be shown at the 2019 Go Red for Women Luncheon. There was an instant connection with these amazing women, and I feel like I have made friends for life.
We connected again in early February at the launch party sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. This lovely event brought together not just all of the Class of 2019 Storytellers, but the Class of 2018 Storytellers as well.
The highlight event, of course, was the 2019 Southern New England Go Red for Women Luncheon on Valentine’s Day at the Rhode Island Convention Center. I truly enjoyed the Festival of Red celebration and met some wonderful women.
Later, as I watched the 2019 Heart2Heart Storyteller video along with the other 700+ attendees for the very first time, I was truly overcome with emotion. It was an incredible feeling to take a bow with the other Storytellers in front of this enormous crowd, and to feel the love and support emanating from them.
I’m so thankful to the Southern New England American Heart Association and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for allowing me this opportunity to share my story and, perhaps, help or inspire other survivors.
Carol Conley is Assistant to the Executive Director at the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. She is also an award-winning short film director and is currently working on two new films.