October is National Healthy lung month.
The health of your lungs is intimately tied to your heart health.
That's a lesson one woman, participating in the American Heart Association's Go Red Challenge has learned the hard way.
Last February, Erika Walker finally decided to go to the doctor. Walker says she had not been feeling well for months. She had a cough she couldn't kick and breathing became so difficult she says she couldn't even eat.
Doctors discovered that she had nearly 40-pounds of fluid surrounding her heart and lungs. She was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and her heart was failing. It was performing at 15%.
"My hope is that I can reach out to someone that may be going through the same thing that I went through," Erika Walker said.
"You need to get yourself checked. Do not put it off. Because if I had went on and addressed this when it was in the early stages, I wouldn't have had heart failure," she added.
Pulmonary hypertension is an elevation of blood pressure in the lungs. If not treated, it may be life-threatening.
Hear Walker's journey to extend her life with her new diagnosis by clicking on the video link above.