NEW YORK (PIX11) — Wednesday marks the beginning of Women’s Heart Month, and there’s a new health initiative underway aimed at combining cardiovascular health with pregnancy at North Shore University Hospital.

Amy Wong is the mother of a 3-year-old child, but her journey toward motherhood wasn’t easy. She was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 21 and also developed kidney disease. Despite the odds stacked against her, her dream became reality. She underwent multiple IVF treatments in 2018 and gave birth to Vivian in 2019 at 28 weeks. Her miracle baby is doing well.

In honor of the year of the Chinese New Year, she set a new goal to get pregnant during the Year of the Rabbit, but Wong’s condition increases her risk for cardiovascular disease, so she saw Dr. Evelina Grayver. As the director of the Women’s Heart Program, Dr. Grayver heads the new cardio- obstetrics initiative at North Shore University Hospital.

Dr. Grayver says combining cardiovascular health and pregnancy is vital. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in women. Women of color are more at risk and Dr. Grayver suggests all women get tested, regardless of age or health status.

In August, 2021, Wong underwent a barrage of cardiac tests. They revealed 70% blocked arteries. She had to undergo a CABG procedure, followed by cardiac rehab and diabetic healing. Six months after this bypass surgery, Wong decided she wanted to have another baby.

She is scheduled to undergo IVF once again in February. She says now, the Year of the Rabbit, is the perfect time. The Year of the Rabbit symbolizes calm and hope. Wong says she hopes that other women facing similar circumstances put their health first and stay strong.