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In Angela’s Words
On role models. I’ve always had this internal sense that I could reach my goals, and that sense was supported by my faith and family. The females in my household, from my mom to my cousins and aunts, were very influential in shaping who I am today and encouraging me.
On female empowerment. You could be a mom who has grown children or a woman who’s out of work, I believe that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve, no matter where you are in your journey. There’s an opportunity to start fresh at any time.
On (who else?) Oprah. I applaud Oprah. I love her approach, her enthusiasm, and her passion for making a difference. She’s vulnerable—she not only shows her strengths, but she also shows her weaknesses. That, to me, makes her even stronger.
On co-hosting The View. The View put out a call for a new co-host. I reached out, and they reached back. It was very exciting, and it sparked in me something that was always there, but had just been simmering. I knew I wanted to broaden my career into the entertainment realm.
At the end of her pregnancy, Angela Burgin Logan should have been joyfully holding her newborn daughter. Instead, she found herself on her deathbed. Stricken with preeclampsia and peripartum cardiomyopathy, Angela suffered heart, lung and kidney failure, at which point she was put into a medically induced coma to save her life. “I actually knew I was dying,” she recalls. "I thought, This is the last time I’m going to talk to my husband. I may never meet my daughter. I’m not going to get to say goodbye to my parents."
Despite being given a slim shot at survival by her doctors, Angela recovered—and she has spent the two years that have elapsed since her ordeal telling her story, hoping that others might be able to learn from her harrowing experience. Angela's blog, Live & Learn, has partnered with Amnesty International, and she has hosted speaking events on maternal health around the world. "We have to not only take care of our families, but also put ourselves back on the list. We have to become our own biggest advocates," she instructs. Angela is also a Lifetime Mom, sharing advice on health and wellness with other mothers.
Angela's passion for sharing her story stems in part from the fact that many women don’t know about preeclampsia. Angela herself showed a number of symptoms during pregnancy—high blood pressure, significant weight gain, protein in the urine. By her second trimester, Angela had already gained the maximum amount of weight recommended for a woman her size, but was still putting on about five pounds a week. She also developed an inability to catch her breath, even while lying down flat—a condition she now recognizes as a symptom of potential heart failure. "I had this alarm going off in my head that something was terribly wrong. I knew it intuitively. I knew it physically. But I simply couldn’t get anyone to hear me," she remembers. "Unfortunately, many women like me get dismissed as nervous new mothers."
Angela’s daughter, Samia, wasn’t breathing when she was born, but is thriving and healthy today. "She’s very happy. She’s energetic, and she’s extraordinarily bright," Angela beams. "We do have to monitor her more closely than a typical child. But so far, so good." As for her own health, Angela may be on the mend, but the road to recovery has been long and difficult. She's lost 100 pounds over the course of a year, but still lives with cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease. “I am definitely looking forward to the future," she says, viewing her ongoing outreach as a mutually beneficial endeavor. "I focus on getting the word out to women every day, and that’s part of my recovery.”
Next on Angela's agenda is promoting the movie she’s produced based on her experience: Breathe, produced in collaboration with Bethesda Films. The movie stars Robin Givens, Jazmin Lewis, Elise Neal, and Angela’s husband Samson, who plays himself. Behind the scenes, Angela will continue to be what she calls a “slash”—a wife-slash-mom-slash-executive-slash-producer-slash-writer. “I will continue to sound the alarm on maternal health,” she affirms. "I dared to believe that I could make it—that I would recover. I am fearless in that way. If I feel there is something I want to achieve, I’m going to go for it, no matter what it is."