ALBANY, N.Y. – Buildings in Albany are glowing red Thursday to shine a light on the number one killer of women – heart disease.
February is American Heart Month, with increased efforts to raise awareness about a disease that impacts so many.
NEWS10's Meagan Farley spoke with a survivor who was young and healthy when the disease hit.
They're smiling today, but for the last two years, Mary Hart and John Tiriano have faced challenges many of us couldn't even imagine.
“It still makes me cry because I still don't know if I'm going to wake up in the morning. None of us ever do,” said Hart.
Throughout the area a number of buildings will be lit red Friday to raise awareness for heart disease, because awareness is key.
Mary says she felt tired, but figured it just came with being a mom of two young kids.
“I can't be tired, I just have to keep going there is no rest for me,” said Hart.
But in fact, that fatigue was from a virus that had attacked her heart, leaving it working at only ten percent of what it should've been.
She was immediately hospitalized.
“They needed to know I had two little kids I needed them to help me to survive because I wasn't ready.
Who is ever ready to leave this earth but certainly not when you have kids,” said Hart
Her boyfriend John says they now cherish every moment, even though at times he says the whole experience can get the best of him.
“There are nights I look at her in the middle of the night and make sure she is still breathing,” said Tiriano.
Now that she's healthy, for Mary and her family it is about helping someone else catch their heart disease before it's too late.
“My daughter made a little pact and she said I'm gonna save a lot of mommies and daddies. I said yes that's what we're going to do,” said Hart.