Amy Grant gives health update after open-heart surgery for rare condition

·3 min read

One year after discovering she had a rare heart condition which required open-heart surgery to fix, Amy Grant is asking her fans to put their heart health first.

"I feel fantastic," Grant told Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "I just have this feeling like this is going to be the best year yet. I love it."

Given that February is American Heart Month, Grant had a message for all viewers, as cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer among all Americans -- but especially for women, as it takes the lives of one in three women, according to the American Heart Association.

"My birth defect was an encroaching killer -- and I had no idea. So my advice would be take care of yourself. The world needs you. Even if you feel like everything is fine, you don't really know what's going on inside," she said, urging women to not put their health "on the back burner" and to take care of themselves as much as they're taking care of their loved ones.

Grant had open-heart surgery last year to fix a rare condition called partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR). According to the Mayo Clinic, PAPVR is a congenital heart defect which causes a mixing of oxygen-rich blood and oxygen-poor blood as it flows into the heart's right atrium instead of the left due to incorrect placement of the pulmonary veins.

Last February, for Heart Awareness Month, Grant revealed on Twitter that she had gotten a check at her doctor's suggestion due to her father's heart history and, after a "battery of tests," her condition was diagnosed.

"The first good news is that I am completely asymptomatic," Grant told fans at the time. "The second good news is that it's fixable, so instead of concerts and camping trips this summer, I am going to take care of my heart. Are you taking care of yours?! Please do."

Then, in June, Grant successfully underwent open-heart surgery to fix her PAPVR. About a week after the procedure, the six-time Grammy winner said her recovery had felt "miraculous" and she credited "something supernatural" for helping her get through it.

Grant appeared on "GMA" in August to give an update on her health and to express how "grateful" she was to have caught this rare condition when she did, all thanks to listening to her doctor.

"If I have got something wrong, anybody could have something wrong," she told Robin Roberts. "My message would be, take a minute and take care of yourself. You don't know that something is wrong unless you make sure it's right."

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