LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Queen Latifah Opens Up About How Her Mom's 13-Year-Long Heart Failure Battle Changed Her Life

Date December 18, 2017

For the famous singer, actress, and producer Queen Latifah, the two words “heart failure” have a special meaning. It is the condition her mom Rita Owens lives with for over a decade now. When the woman was first diagnosed with the disease, Queen Latifah decided to become her caregiver right away. And recently, the entertainer opened up about the ways this long-lasting battle affected both her life and relationship with her mother.

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Heart failure is a chronic condition that affects around 5.7 million people in the U.S. only, according to the CDC report. Basically, it means a person's heart is too weak to pump blood efficiently enough.

People with heart failure need to follow strict rules: change their diet, exercise regularly, and take prescribed medications. And Latifah constantly makes sure that her mom follows all of the doctor's recommendations.

But learning about the disease for the first time was not easy. In an interview with Everyday Health, she recalled that moment:

It was like a punch to the gut.

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But both women did a pretty amazing job in learning how to live with Rita's heart failure. And while helping her mother get used to the new lifestyle, Queen Latifah changed a lot in her daily life too. Among other things, she started to maintain a healthier diet and take care of her own heart.

To one of the strongest women I know, happy #internationalwomensday ❤️???????? #sheinspiresme

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Fighting together against the disease also helped Queen Latifah to improve her relationship with her mom. In a recent interview with People, the singer revealed:

I’ve just learned how much you can love a person and just how strong my mother is. I’ve come to respect her in ways you can’t even imagine.

And the desire to help Rita combat the disease seems to unite their entire family. Her cousin Tina, for instance, is Owens' “right-hand person” on everything related to medications because “she knows all about all the drugs.”

When we go through these things together as a family, I realize, these are the important things, these are the important moments.

Today, Latifah keeps helping her mom adjust to the life with heart failure. She also assists other people by supporting the Rise Above Heart Failure initiative launched by the American Heart Association.

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