Heart to Heart 

A few years ago, Kathy Kastan moved to Memphis. She ate well, didn’t smoke, lived an active lifestyle, and thought she was “invincible.”

Sometimes when she exercised, though, she had shortness of breath, nausea, profuse sweating, or pain down her left arm. Kastan ignored the problems, thinking they’d go away.

After a particularly pointed episode, Kastan sought medical advice. But she had considerable difficulty getting properly diagnosed. Finally, it was determined that she had severe heart disease. Within a year, she underwent emergency bypass surgery. She was 41 years old.

After discovering firsthand how significant — yet unexpected — her health problems were in her life and those of her loved ones, Kastan wanted to do something. “I decided to get involved and to give back, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” she says.

Kastan is the chair of the board of the Memphis American Heart Association and is president of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

And Kastan wrote a book: From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Living Well with Heart Disease (Da Capo). In it, she focuses not on the physical or medical ramifications of heart disease but the emotional and psychological effects. (An interview with her appears in the May Memphis magazine.)

Kastan will be at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on Thursday, May 10th, at 6 p.m., where she will discuss and sign copies of her book. Call Davis-Kidd at 901-683-9801 or go to daviskidd.com for more information.

by Greg Akers

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