Lily’s Heart – Gratitude for Life


Hello my friends,

I write to share a profound and frightening event in my life.  I suffered a heart attack on Wednesday May 30th while in California for my Father’s memorial.  I was visiting Disneyland with my husband Rod and my cousin Cheri and was standing in line for a ride when I collapsed suddenly with what they later determined was a ventricular fibrillation. Miraculously – an unidentified EMT was in line nearby on vacation with his kids, and when Rod called for help he came to my rescue and kept me breathing while the Paramedics were on their way. The quick response from the emergency teams was incredible.  There are so many miracles that happened. The ride had been delayed and we were standing in line by an access door – if I’d been on the ride I wouldn’t have made it.  I was rushed to a nearby hospital.  The cardiologists determined that my heart is actually healthy but for some unknown reason my slight arrhythmia caused an extra beat which overlapped and caused the fibrillation.

I got out of the hospital on Monday June 4th .  Rod and I had a long drive home but we took advantage of the time to enjoy the coast Hwy 101 and stayed in some beautiful oceanfront hotels.  I am now home and still sore and slowly healing but so grateful to be alive. Rod and I feel so blessed to be experiencing each moment of life…. I hope you will take a moment today and give someone or yourself a hug, life is so precious.



The heart is a something we can take for granted

Yet the beat goes on, regardless of our awareness

In this moment, thank your heart

For all it does to carry life and love throughout your body, mind, and spirit

Feel the pulse that was in you before you were born

The rhythm that carries you onward

It is our own profound and sacred pact

With ourselves


~ Kim McElroy


  1. dear Kim, I am so happy that you are Alive and recovering well. I am a breast cancer survivor and I eat a vegan diet (I’d already been eating vegetarian for over 35 years). Dairy products (and meat products) take their toll on our hearts and arteries. You may want to go vegan for a few months and see how your body feels. Dr. Dean Ornish is recognized for reversing heart disease through his heart healthy diet and meditation program. There are lots of cook books and health related books on the vegan diet.
    Just a loving thought for you to feel much better and stay healthy. I am sending love to you and your family!

  2. Oh my goodness, Kim! That is so scary. Thank the heavens you are alright and that you had an angel to watch over you!

  3. Glad you are with us. May your heart find new beginnings.


  4. Kim
    I have enjoyed your posts and messages so much. My heart is grateful for the inspiration you have given me. I wish you healing, love and lots of nickers from your herd. This recently happened to a friend of mine who is fit and healthy and after a period of recovery and rest she is now just fine. This happened shortly before her mother passed away and she was under a lot of stress….the ways of the heart are mysterious….I know you will be fine….
    Take good care and let others do for you,

  5. Kim,
    I am so happy that you are ok! I had a similar thing happen to me 4 years ago…I am so glad to know that you will continue to inspire and bring happiness into the lives of so many people and animals…big hugs and love to you!

  6. By Golly Kim I was shocked and saddened here in New Zealand to open your blog to read your latest post about your heart attack. Yes life is truly a blessing and we have to make every minute count. Don’t leave us girl! Not yet. The world would not be the same without you. You are in my prayers Kim. Love you – all the way from New Zealand. I Hope that heart of yours can feel all the love coming your way from my husband Phil and myself. God bless you Kim. I am grateful for the miracle that you are and how you have profoundly affected my life from afar.

  7. Kim – it feels like I know you as I work with the Way of the Horse cards and love your revelations, which inspire me to discover the undiscoverable in the five horses I live with. And so it was quite a shock to hear about your heart attack. We send you OUR heartfelt blessings and feel a sense of great joy that you continue to be with us on our collective journey.


  8. Thank you Kim for taking the journey to the ‘edge’ and coming back to remind us of the important things in life.

    I am so pleased that you are well.


  9. Thank goodness for your miracles Kim. And thanks for the reminder to live in the moment and enjoy every day.
    Blessings for a long and happy future for you!
    love and light, Jenny

  10. Dear Kim – Isn’t it amazing how life can grab us with a startling change or event? I have experienced this in my own way and know that I can’t take things for granted. Unfortunately I lose that awareness and so I thank you for sharing your experience. Your poem is a great help!

  11. So glad you are doing well and still with us! You and your art are such an inspiration to me! Take care and be well, Paula

  12. Hi Kim,
    I am thankful that you are fine! I too experience arrhythmia – this can be frightening. Of course there was an angel nearby, your work here is not done!
    Your art and your words are incredible inspirations for many many fans.
    Take care of you!

  13. Hi Kim, I met you many years ago at Equine Affaire in Ohio. I am so glad you are ok and that God took you into his hands that day to make sure all the pieces “fit together” so you’d have the best chance of getting help as quickly as possible. We also took a vacation to CA 4 years ago and drove down highway 1 from San Francisco to as far as Arroyo Grande (to visit Varian Arabians!) – that coastline has to be one of the most gorgeous places on the planet; I am so glad I was able to see it. God Bless you, get well and I hope to see you again one day out here!


  14. Beloved Kim,
    Deeply grateful that you are still with us here, to share your story and continue shining your light. Such a life transforming event that can reveal so much to us and gift us deeply when we listen. Be gentle with yourself and know you are loved.

  15. Blissful Blessings to you Kim for all the Joy you bring into our lives. It is the dark threads of the Tapestry of our lives that frame in the Beauty of our Heart & Soul~

    Sending you oodles of Healing Heart Energy & a Huge Braveheart Hug~
    Lisa A Bull

  16. I also experienced a heart attack, which required bypass surgery. I had a double organ transplant some years afterwards. It is then that horses became a part of my life unexpectedly. I believe my horses have healed and strengthened me, and your horses will do so for you as well. I send you healing energy from myself and my herd.

  17. Kim
    I was so sad to hear of your heart attack. Am grateful of your Miracle.
    You’ve given so much to me in your paintings, and strength in your
    E-mail inspirations. Keep getting well and I know the spirit of the
    horses are always with you.

  18. Kim, what a lucky, lucky girl you are! My brother died from ventricular fibrillation at the age of 46. My life was forever changed by the loss and the sobering reality of the fact that we are not promised tomorrow. How we would all miss you and tour wonderful spirit and talents.
    Caroline Barnett

  19. There is no doubt that you had loving spirit horses watching over you and helping you during your whole ordeal! Thanks be to God for His love and grace in our lives. His angels show up in our lives in so many different forms!

  20. Hi Kim;

    What a shock to receive this news. May the horse spirit guides continue to be at your side. I am so very grateful and thankful that you are okay . I will keep you in my prayers. I think of you often and feel so very blessed that I know you. Please also give my best to Rod.
    Megan and Zavia

  21. You, your art and your posts are an inspiration to me as a fellow equine lover, owner and artist. I wish you continued healing as you rest and recover. As an long-time admirer, I still hope to some day get to meet you in person, and perhaps join you in your workshops. So, do take care of yourself, for your loved ones and all those you touch. Your life and inspirations through your creative endeavors are very important to all of us. May you have continued health and renewed strength in the days to come…….

  22. I love you guys, and am sending lots of love and happiness your way. JM

  23. Dear Kim, from my heart to your heart – sending love and healing.

  24. Kim, So sorry to read about your recent near death experience. So glad to see that all the right things occurred at precisely the right time to keep you alive! As you have said, nothing short of a miracle! God & the Spirits knew it shouldn’t be your time to leave just yet! You would be sorely missed by your family, friends, beloved animals, and of course, your so many many admirers! You are such an inspiration to all of us. You still have so much more to do and so much more beauty to create! May God & the Angels watch over you and keep you in good health! May you continue to heal and completely recover from this frightening episode. Michael & I will keep you in our thoughts & prayers.

  25. What a relief !!!! I was in tears reading about what happened. I hope you enjoyed the beautiful drive back up to WA. I miss your smiling face and all your wonderful critters and hope I am back up in your “neck of the woods very soon.” I am with you each day. Tons of love, Virginia (San Diego)

  26. Dear Kim
    I am so grateful that you recovered and survived that ordeal.
    Your art is an inspiration to me and I still think back to the workshop
    “Drawn to Horses” and how much I learnt from you.
    Thank you and look after yourself.
    Much love, Birgit

  27. Kim, What a frightening experience. So glad that you are okay. I was so happy to see that you called it Lilly’s Heart. My granddaughter Lily passes away when she was born with a bad heart, and my favorite thing in life are horses, so am going to save my pennies for this one.

  28. Dear Kim,

    You have touched my heart in unimaginable ways with your heart felt art. I have stared in awe, I have cried at the pure emotion, I have lived with your art for years and years. Because you have so touched my heart, please take care of yours. Thank you Kim.
    Love forever,

  29. Hey, girl!!! We are SO HAPPY you made it through that stressful event!! Your art is so beautiful and you make us feel so connected with the things that you do. We love you and hope you will continue to feel great!!

  30. Hi Kim,
    What a shock to hear of your heart attack. Thank goodness for all of the miracles that day! May you continue to heal and recover. My brother passed last year of a heart attack at age 37. Oh, how that changes our daily lives! May you enjoy every day and may it be a blessing!
    Thinking of you,

  31. Kim – I just saw this post now and am in shock. I’m so thankful and happy that there were so many little miracles to keep you with us. I guess your angels were really looking after you. Please take care of yourself – Mike and I are sending our biggest well wishes.

  32. Dear Kim – the gift of your art is such a blessing. Everytime I see one of your paintings or drawings I am left breathless with awe. Thank you for staying among us to bring us more breathless moments of awe and wonder. ~ Tina B

  33. Kim, I am so thankful that God intervened. And I love what you wrote about the heart beating within us before we were born.. so true. Love you Kim, you are such a bright star in this World Keep shining you make a difference in our lives. M

  34. Dearest Kim,
    I just read this and I’m speechless. And eternally grateful that you are in recovery. Thank you to all who helped in your hour of need. I know you take no day for granted and it’s life that sometimes has to remind us of this. Hope you continue to do well and know you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  35. How lucky we all are that ‘someone’ was watching over you. Your work is not done here, but please take the time to recover fully before sharing your experience further with us. To quote Mr. Red Skelton, “May God bless…”

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