All Things Heart - Aortic Aneurysm

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


Irma Starr is a nationally acclaimed artist living here in Kansas City. She’s had her work featured in museums across America. Irma was in her 80s when doctors told her she had a large aneurysm on her aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body. Doctors were worried her aneurysm would explode. The American Heart Association reports aneurysms can develop for many years and often have no symptoms. Most recent statistics from the CDC found aortic aneurysms caused nearly 10,000 deaths in the United States in 2018. Irma’s years of art and her heart collided. She spoke with fellow artist and the University of Kansas Health System cardiologist Dr. Charlie Porter. He connected her with her thoracic surgeon, Dr. Greg Muehlebach. All Things Heart explores the risks of an aortic aneurysm and the preventative steps you can take starting today. 


  • Irma Starr, Patient 
  • Dr. Greg Muehlebach, Thoracic Surgeon 
  • Dr. Peter Downey, Thoracic Surgeon 
  • Dr. Todd Crawford, Thoracic Surgeon