USF Employees to Participate in 2010 Heart Walk

From the heart: an employee shares her story.

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2010) – “When you think of the American Heart Association, you automatically think of Heart Attack and Stroke, but it is so much more,” says Deborah Nava, a USF Health staff member.

“The American Heart Association also does research of drugs used for heart ailments. Five years ago I almost died from an adverse reaction to a prescription drug I was taking. For most people this drug works fine, but for a few of us it can affect your heart, kidneys and brain.

“I was so tired and getting more tired with every day. I felt like I was getting wispy, like I was transparent. I couldn't walk from my office in MDC to the Health post office without resting, and some days I could barely make it to my car at the end of the day.

“My doctor ran tests to determine what was causing the fatigue, but it was during a surgery when my heart almost stopped that doctors realized my problems were the result of a heart condition and sent me to a cardiologist.

“The cardiologist reviewed my tests and could see how serious the situation had become. I was fortunate that he had just read the research on the medicine I was taking and realized the damage it was causing to my heart. He changed my medication, and today I am back to normal, but it was a close call. If it wasn't for research like that I might not be alive today. I thank the American Heart Association for all their hard work, and this is why I choose to support the AHA Heart Walk.”

The 2010 American Heart Association Heart Walk takes place on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Raymond James Stadium USF faculty and staff are encouraged to join their department's team or form their own by clicking here.

“When you support the American Heart Association, you enrich the lives of so many people, including your family, friends and coworkers like Deborah,” says Carol Sands, who leads this year's USF Heart Walk Campaign.

For more information on joining the Heart Walk, click here or email Carol Sands at