Always on the go, Aaron Anderson is not used to slowing down. The thirty-something land surveyor found himself with no choice when he became ill in 2012.
Suddenly unable to catch his breath, along with very swollen legs and hallucinations, he was admitted to the hospital for heart failure. Several months earlier he was sidelined from work with the first hints of heart failure, difficulty breathing and constant fatigue.
Aaron was met with an unexpected medical diagnosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension. This rare disease involves the scarring and tightening of the blood vessels between the right side of the heart and the lungs. Left untreated, the disease causes severe heart failure and ultimately death.
With no health insurance, he found angels at the Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center. The clinic set him up with medications and cardiac rehab. Anderson says they made it an easy transition and left him feeling hopeful for a return to normal life.
While Aaron is young and quite active, he has a family history of heart disease. His maternal grandparents both passed at an early age and his own father suffered a stroke when Aaron was 30.
The medication is helping. He finds he needs to slow down at times, and even though he finds it hard to do, Aaron knows how important it is to know when to take it easy.
Back to work as a land surveyor, Aaron hikes uneven terrain around Austin and the Hill Country every day. He even works overtime some weeks.