Patty Peterson - Jazz Vocalist, Radio Talk Show Host, Motivational Speaker and Emcee
Patty Peterson was born into the renowned Peterson family, Minnesota's First Family of Jazz. She is an award-winning singer and has moved her love of audiences into becoming a radio personality in the Twin Cities. However, there was a time three years ago when this acclaimed vocalist could barely listen to music, much less sing. That was after a life-threatening cardiovascular event, an aortic dissection.
It happened on February 12, 2007. After a busy day of volunteering at her son's school, taking a Pilates class, doing a rehearsal and a recording session, Patty was driving down the freeway in Minneapolis when she suddenly felt a 'burst' in her chest. "Not a twinge - more like a dagger in my heart," she said. She was able to pull over to the side of the road and call 911 for assistance. An ambulance arrived within minutes and rushed her to Abbott Northwestern Hospital. In less than an hour, doctors quickly ruled out a heart attack and determined she had an acute aortic dissection. This is the same condition that took the life of John Ritter.
Now Patty is telling her story and bringing awareness to this deadly disease called aortic dissection. She lives with a mechanical valve and a partial mesh aorta and will live with aortic disease for the rest of her life. This has not stopped her! She is presently writing a book about her life story entitled "Live Your Gift." It not only talks about her musical career and family, but also her experience with aortic dissection, and her intense recovery, including learning how to sing again. Patty also reminds us in her talks, in her book, and by her example that we are here to do one thing in life, and that is to "Live Our Gifts." It's just that simple.
Patty Peterson is the recipient of the 2009 American Heart and Stroke Hero Award in the Survivor Category for her work in raising awareness for Heart and Aortic Disease.