Amy Grant Opens up About the Diagnosis That Led to Her Open-Heart Surgery

In June, Amy Grant underwent open-heart surgery after doctors discovered that she had a condition called PAPVR, or partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, which she has had since birth. In an interview with Robin Roberts that aired on Good Morning America this week, Grant revealed that her condition had caused her to have trouble singing before her diagnosis, though she didn't know why she was feeling that way at the time.

"I had an irregular heartbeat for the last 10 years, and it exhibited every day," she said. "It bothered me a little bit and then I've had a harder time singing in the last five years... everything kind of tightening up as I was trying to sing. I remember a couple of times telling [husband] Vince [Gill], 'I feel like I'm suffocating.' It's the weirdest thing, I'm breathing as deep as I can, but in my mind, none of that had to do with my heart."

In 2019, Grant accompanied her husband to his own doctor for his own preventative tests, Gill's cardiologist, Dr. John Bright Cage, asked Grant how her health was. Though she said she was feeling "fine," he urged her to undergo testing, which revealed Grant's congenital disability. The 59-year-old was told that she needed to have surgery done before she turned 60 or her condition could worsen and do so suddenly.

"I just think sometimes in all of our jobs, we have what we're trained for, and then beyond that, there's intuition and inspiration," Grant said of her diagnosis. "And I think Dr. Cage did everything that was required for testing for what he thought might be an issue for me because my father had [heart bypass] surgery, but beyond that, I don't [know]."

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After her surgery, Grant shared an update on her recovery with fans on Instagram, writing that amid this "crazy, broken, yet beautiful time ... in the midst of all of our awareness and becoming and learning to love and see each other," she had a "really unique" experience of open-heart surgery and that her recovery has "felt miraculous."

"The only way I can explain my experience would be to ask you to imagine a non-runner who was signed up for a marathon. I didn't want it, but I had to have it anyway," she wrote. "From the moment I went to the hospital if it really were a marathon race, I felt like I got into that runner's block and as soon as it was time for the race to start, there was this massive West Texas wind at my back.. just pushing me through. Even stuff I was really scared about felt like nothing more than just a deep breath and something supernatural pushed me through it."