MTSU students Emily Hasty and Hannah Daigle and staff member Trisha Murphy have something in common: All were impacted with heart issues either at birth or within three months.
They were recognized on campus Friday, Feb. 7, during the university’s celebration of National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month in the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium. Nearly 60 people braved wintry weather to carry on the campus tradition of forming a “human heart” for a photo to commemorate the observance.
Those attending learned about risks and symptoms of heart disease in women and men. Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year. Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, but it is nearly 80 percent preventable.
Hasty was born with a hole in her heart and later diagnosed with a condition called supraventricular tachycardia when her heart rate was literally off the charts.
When Daigle’s parents noticed she was not eating at 3 to 5 months old, they learned she had a heart murmur and a valve was leaking. She has experienced four heart surgeries, most recently at age 15.
Murphy was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an inherited form of heart disease and most common heart disease discovered at birth.
Hasty, 18, a freshman recording industry major from Newnan, Georgia, said her situation “can seem really scary at times. … Trust your doctors. They know what’s going on.” She played soccer and understood her limits.
Murfreesboro resident and 2019 Riverdale High School graduate Daigle, 18, is undecided on an MTSU major. She “can do most things (including running with father Karl Daigle). If I know I need to stop (running or exercising), I’ll stop,” she said.
Wife, mother and MTSU development officer Murphy, 29, also “leads a normal life. Sometimes I run half marathons,” she said. “For a long time, I did not take my condition seriously.” That changed when son James Murphy, 3, was born with the same condition. Husband Mark Murphy recruits transfer students in the Office of Admissions.
Hasty and Daigle are both members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.
MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)