September 5th, 2014
Editor’s Note: September is AFib Awareness Month. In this post, NASCAR® Legend Michael Waltrip opens up about his mother’s experience with atrial fibrillation and stroke. During the month Michael is teaming up with Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, to help raise awareness about this condition.
As a racecar driver, I’ve had my fair share of hits, twists and turns. But one of the hardest hits I ever took was when my mom had a major stroke due to atrial fibrillation, or AFib, which left her permanently disabled. This was the moment that tables turned—our family knew we were all going to have to pitch in and care for her the same way she has cared for us all of our lives.
I recall 25 years ago my mom having a heart condition, which was an irregular heartbeat called Atrial Fibrillation or AFib. Now, I know that AFib is the most common “serious” abnormal heart rhythm in people over 65. What I wasn’t aware of is what AFib could do to my mother. None of us had any idea that she was at an increased risk of stroke because of it.