Linda Shaw’s long personal and professional connection to heart health has served as an inspiration to others in the Toledo, OH area and beyond.
Linda, a clinical partnership liaison at Mercy College of Ohio, has a family history of heart disease. Her father died when she was 12. She experienced a tough journey of passing out and becoming unconscious three times over a 13-year period and was misdiagnosed. Finally, in 2008, she was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia. Linda then received a pacemaker and defibrillator.
However, these heart issues haven’t slowed Linda down over the years. She’s a competitive runner, educator and motivational speaker.
A 1974 St. Vincent School of Nursing graduate, Linda later earned a master’s in education exercise physiology and cardiac rehab in 1988. She eventually opened the cardiac rehabilitation program at Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital.
In 2012, Linda was selected as a Medtronic Global Hero – one of 25 athletes around the world who exemplify outstanding athletic characteristics and life with an electronic device. She was also a keynote speaker for the American Heart Association’s Go Red Luncheon in 2014.
As an accomplished runner her entire adult life, Linda encourages athletes with developing heart conditions to continue what they love but scale it down to a new normal. She has run in 377 races throughout the country, including triathlons, with both her pacemaker and defibrillator.
Anyone who has participated in organized races in the Toledo, OH area may have spotted Linda wearing one of her many running costumes to brighten the experience for those around her.
While working at one race in Toledo, she was explaining to someone why CPR was necessary. Right then, a woman appeared to trip near the finish line, but didn’t get up. Linda ran over and started CPR. Linda then walked the same race the following year with the woman and her family.
“I’m a strong proponent of being your own heart health advocate and finding physicians who listen to you and your needs,” she shares. “I’m also a firm believer that life is a gift, so enjoy.”
Linda is clearly following her own advice.
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