Rev. Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz has shared a new update on her daughter, Rachel-Ruth after she suffered two heart attacks last month, which was believed to be a "very rare condition."
The evangelist and author took to social media to share that Rachel-Ruth will require cardiac rehab, which she said is a "a critical first step towards recovery." Lotz also thanked supporters for praying for her daughter and family throughout their health challenges.
"Thank you for continuing to pray for all of us in this faith-stretching journey," Lotz wrote on a Facebook post, as reported by Faithwire. "Please pray for Rachel-Ruth's restoration to full health and strength with no setbacks or complications."
The evangelist also concluded her post with a Bible verse, as she always does, encouraging followers to "praise God" alongside her family. She cited Psalm 28:7, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me."
In January, Lotz took to Facebook to share that Rachel-Ruth had been rushed to the hospital when she experienced a heart attack followed by a catheterization. The following day, she suffered another heart attack and another catheterization. At the time, the AnGel Ministries wrote of Rachel-Ruth's condition, "The mystery is that her heart has no blockages which can cause traditional style heart attacks. Hers is a very rare condition one doctor described as a 'broken heart syndrome.' There is no known cause."
Lotz added that she prayed Scripture "multiple times," specifically "Psalm 73:26 for people who were struggling with heart issues." She wrote, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. I am now driving the stake of my faith down deep into this promise for my daughter, Rachel-Ruth."
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, "broken heart syndrome" is also known as "stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo syndrome," a condition that occurs when an individual "experiences sudden acute stress that can rapidly weaken the heart muscle" and can "cause rapid and reversive heart muscle weakness."
As per the American Heart Association, the condition "can strike even if you're healthy." It also reported, "Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain - the reaction to a surge of stress hormones - that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event."
"Broken heart syndrome" can also be easily misdiagnosed as a heart attack due to the very similar symptoms. But with this condition, the heart temporarily enlarges and does not pump blood well, while the rest of the heart functions normally or with more forceful contractions. The AHA said that the condition may lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure, but is usually treatable. Patients often make a full recovery within weeks and will be at low risk for it occurring again.
In January, Rachel-Ruth was released from the hospital following a diagnosis of spontaneous coronary artery dissection. The family's health struggles came after Rachel-Ruth's brother, Jonathan, also battled a serious COVID infection before recovering. Lotz assured, however, that "[God" has surely been an ever-present help in times of trouble."