Jen Hale, a Fox Sports reporter, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy at the age of 38 and she was given just 5 more years to live. Now, at 43 years old, the deadline has clearly passed and she has to thank her colleague Ronde Barber partially for that.
Both were working on an assignment together in 2016 when Barber noticed that Hale was sweating a lot and clearly had trouble breathing. He urged her to seek medical assistance, which eventually led to her getting diagnosed with the disease. For her, the issue is the left side of the heart, which pumps the blood out into the body.
Jen Hale Says She Downplayed the Symptoms
Hale explained that the right side of her heart was receiving enough blood, but the left side was just not pumping out enough. If the heart was a rubber band, expanding and popping back, hers was just not snapping back, she said. The left side of her heart was barely moving when she sought help.
Actually, Jen Hale has been to two doctors before she got diagnosed and she admits she downplayed her symptoms. She kept on telling herself to suck it up and that it was nothing. She thought if it was that serious then the first doctors would have seen the issue.
Heart Conditions Run in Her Family
Hale also commented that even though she knew about her dad’s and uncle’s heart conditions, she never mentioned them to the health professionals she visited. This may have led to her getting diagnosed earlier on. Her journey also included putting her name on a heart transplant list, but for over two years now she has been able to regulate her disease with medication.
She noted that some other things played a big role. She was generally leading a healthy lifestyle before she found out about her disease and was working out every day. What worked against her, though, was the fact she waited too long before getting proper medical help. Her heart was down to 16% pumping capacity when she found out.
Jen Hale is now focused on educating others about the condition by using her platform and working with the American Heart Association.