Gina Hernandez
Gina Romano Hernandez, R.N.

As a longtime nurse, Gina Romano Hernandez was used to taking care of others. 

It was quite a shock when, in April of 2020, just as the pandemic was starting, she suddenly became a cardiac patient at her own hospital, Saddleback Medical Center. 

Hernandez told her dramatic story at the annual member appreciation luncheon of Beauty In Grace, Saddleback Medical Center Foundation’s women’s giving circle. The event was held on Aug. 3, 2021, at Montage Laguna Beach. 
Gina recalls that staff had been establishing new safety protocols for the COVID-19 surge, when she began to feel pressure on her chest and numbing down her arms. 

She didn’t know at the time that she was having a heart attack caused by a tear in her artery. She was rushed to the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab to have a stent placed, saving her life.

Because of her ordeal, Gina was especially grateful that this year’s Beauty In Grace membership gifts were supporting Saddleback’s cath lab renovation, providing the newest equipment and technology to treat cardiac and stroke patients.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Each year, Beauty In Grace pools its $1,000 membership gifts to support a health service related to women at Saddleback Medical Center. This year, the group had 75 members.

To find out more about Beauty In Grace, visit