by Hannah Brinks • photography by Two Eagles Marcus
Upon meeting Jordan Carson, you would never think, “heart disease.” You might think “exuberant” or “energetic,” but not “sick,” and certainly not “weak.”
It’s apropos that she’s the lead singer of the Nine Mile Smile band; her charismatic smile is part of the reason she’s so enjoyable as a performer and entertainer. Her current gig is as the co-host of the lifestyle and entertainment show, eightWest on WOOD TV8, a company she has been with for six years.
She does all this in the wake of heart disease. Carson was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) in the summer of 2013, but it all began when she was in college. She had no family history, and the heart monitors didn’t pick up anything irregular. There was no way to know or understand the source of her discomfort and pain.
Jordan continued life with vigor and dedication in spite of these worrisome issues. She earned her Bachelors of Applied Arts in Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan University, going on to dance for the Detroit Pistons and traveling the country as a vehicle specialist and spokesperson. It didn’t slow her down, but she listened to her body, realizing that something wasn’t right.
“As time went on, my symptoms began to manifest themselves in different ways,” Carson explained. “All of the sudden, my heart would begin to race at an extremely fast rate, and I would barely be able to speak or breathe. This would last for 12-14 hours, and would happen without warning.”
While those around her blamed stress and panic attacks, Carson followed the advice that she would give to other women experiencing similar symptoms.
“What I learned most is to listen to your body,” she said. It seems simple, but she explained that it sometimes takes tenacity, a quality anyone can see she exemplifies. “You know your body more than anyone else, and if you think there may be a problem, contact your physician. If they tell you nothing is wrong, and you believe there is, get a second opinion.”
During one of her episodes of an erratic heartbeat, Carson was rushed to the emergency room, where they found out her arrhythmia was causing her heart to race at 260 beats per minute for more than 12 hours. “The doctors compared it to running two marathons back to back in one day,” she explained. “They said that I needed to have a procedure, cardiac ablation, done to correct the pathways causing the arrhythmia.”
Her family was supportive, supplementing her bravery with their love and care. Following through on the doctor’s prescription, she had the procedure during the summer of 2013, a week after getting engaged.
“I don’t fear of having arrhythmia,” Carson said, despite the stress and fear of having such a procedure. “I am able to do all of the things that I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Because she was in tune with her body and staved the fear that many would succumb to, the doctors could fix her heart; paving the way for a pain and symptom free life following her procedure, as well as for the birth of her new baby girl—something that may not have happened had she not trusted her instinct.
“The doctor was a little concerned with me getting pregnant before having the ablation,” she explained. “I just had a beautiful baby girl, who is the most amazing part of my and my husband’s life.”
Their daughter, Brooklyn, was born early in December of 2015. Her response to this new challenge: “My husband and I feel blessed beyond words.”
Aside from chipping away at her ever-growing reading list, Hannah enjoys writing, running, traveling, and sipping coffee with her family and friends.