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Mother and daughter, who both had heart transplants, use Mother’s Day to raise awareness about heart disease

The month of May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and this Mother’s Day weekend is extra...
The month of May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and this Mother’s Day weekend is extra special for a mother and daughter pair who underwent heart transplants. They’re both doing well and are using the holiday to raise awareness about heart health, especially in African American women.(WBRC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 7:35 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The month of May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and this Mother’s Day weekend is extra special for a mother and daughter pair who underwent heart transplants.

They’re both doing well and are using the holiday to raise awareness about heart health, especially in African American women. They’re using their testimonies to spread the message of hope and survival to those dealing with heart disease.

Lucy Emonina was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, when she was just 11 years old. HCM is a hereditary condition that causes the heart muscles to become abnormally thick, making it harder to pump blood.

Not only did Emonina lose four siblings, but also two sons to the disease.

“I had just recently lost a brother, actually I had lost a brother that was six months old and also I lost a brother that was a few years older than me, which was 11 years old. So my mom was anxious to get us to the doctor to check us, to keep us safe. She didn’t want to lose another child,” Emonina said.

By age 42, doctors revealed she would need a new heart.

Two decades later, her daughter, Ovuké Emonina McCoy would also receive that precious gift just three weeks after her wedding day.

“As opposed to thinking about celebrating my wedding and celebrating being on a honeymoon, I was worried about a heart. How was I going to live? Was I gonna live being in this marriage?” McCoy said.

Both mother and daughter are doing well now watching what they eat, taking their medications and getting exercise when they can.

And as Mother’s Day approaches, they want more women to take their health to heart.

“Your health is your wealth, and self-care is the best care,” McCoy said.

“Your body talks to you. It lets you know that something is wrong. So, always be aware, don’t sweep it under the rug and say okay, let me lay down and I’ll feel better later on. Always listen to your body,” Emonina said.

Both women are now ambassadors for the American Heart Association, and they also plan to launch a nonprofit organization called Heart of Emonina in honor of their lost loved ones.

The organization will provide resources for those dealing with heart disease.

For more information, email ovukeriena@outlook.com, or visit Ovuké Emonina McCoy’s Instagram page @ladyheartwarrior.

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