• Communicating new information on aortic disease to the public
• Raising awareness of the symptoms and severity of aortic disease within at-risk and under-served populations so that it is no longer a silent killer
• Reducing the toll of aortic disease by addressing barriers to diagnosis, treatment, and follow up care
• Providing a voice for aortic disease patients to improve access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment, improving quality of life and overall outcomes
Rock from the Heart (RFTH) is an incorporated organization formed after the founder, Pete Johnson, survived aortic aneurysm and aortic valve replacement surgery. The purpose of the organization is to support heart disease education and awareness programs with a primary focus on aortic health. Aortic disease is often known as a “silent killer” and most thoracic aortic aneurysms are discovered incidentally when the patient is being treated for another condition. Others are only discovered after the aorta dissects and/or the aortic valve deteriorates. Aortic valve disease, aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections are potentially life-threatening conditions if not diagnosed in time. Frequently, these conditions are wrongly described as “undetectable” – but in many cases they are detectable. Risk factors can be managed. And with greater awareness and education of doctors, emergency medical technicians, emergency room workers, and patients, lives can be saved.
Thoracic aortic aneurysms are rare, occurring in approximately 6-10 per every 100,000 people. About 20% of those cases are linked to family history. Because the disease is rare, there is limited information available to those at risk (family history) and to those diagnosed with the condition. RFTH aims to change that by holding events that bring the condition into the forefront, committed to increasing public awareness of the factors that put people at risk for thoracic aortic disease, and to improving the diagnosis and management of these life-threatening conditions.
RFTH will also support programs and organizations working to bring high quality cardiovascular care to rural communities and smaller hospitals. RFTH will focus on developing resources designed to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of aortic disease by advocating for early detection, meaningful support, and timely access to appropriate treatment for all people affected.