Society / Profiles

A Broken Heart Cannot Stop This Dallas Dynamo From Saving Lives

Given Five Years to Live, Powerhouse Woman Just Keeps the Drumbeat of Difference Making Going

BY // 02.22.18

This Friday, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon will honor Diane S. McNulty, Ph.D. for her impact in the community with a focus on the empowerment of women. The 2018 Sandi Haddock Impact Award recipient isn’t just being recognized for her contributions to others’ lives, though – McNulty’s own story is inspiring itself.

Diane McNulty was born with a congenital heart defect one year after the American Heart Association was founded. There was no known surgical cure and she was given a diagnosis of less than five years of life expectancy.

However, as the AHA made remarkable strides in its research, McNulty also flourished. When she delivered her child, Brynn, she was among the first women to be studied with congenital heart issues in relation to pregnancy. Her strong heart underwent multiple surgeries over decades.

In 1983, when her father, Dr. Frank O. Seay had his first quadruple bypass, the pair were the first father daughter duo to go through cardiac rehab together at Medical City of Dallas.

McNulty, like so many other women, was in and out of the hospital repeatedly for her heart issues. But thanks to medical advancements made by the American Heart Association, she persevered and continues accomplish remarkable things.

The Associate Dean for External Affairs and Corporate Development, UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, is currently leading an effort to establish a program dedicated to Women and Leadership. She’s on the Board of Directors for the Public Affairs Council, D.C., the Texas Business Hall of Fame, Houston and the World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas. She’s also a member of the Executive Women of Dallas, Dallas Junior League, Leadership Women: Leadership Texas Alumna, National Association of Professional Women, and many other prestigious associations.

She’s one of 1,300 business executives, medical professionals and community leaders who will be at the Dallas Go Red For Women Luncheon – the No. 1 fundraising luncheon in the nation for the AHA. It’s an incredibly important cause considering that cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of one in three women (killing approximately one woman every minute).

Fortunately, with women like McNulty becoming the voices of heart health, the AHA can continue to save lives and mend broken hearts.

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