49 Voices: Mia Kinard of Anchorage

Mia Kinard of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Mia Kinard in Anchorage. Kinard moved to Alaska from South Carolina a little over a year ago.

Listen now

KINARD: I came here for change and to give my boys a different environment to live in, to shut them off from so many things that they had access to in the Lower 48.

I met a great, I’m talking about an awesome, group of nurses and care team at the Alaska Heart Institute and over at Alaska Regional Hospital. They took really good care of me, and they did things that wouldn’t get done in the South.

I kept having chest pains and I made a request for a stress test and they said, because of my age I guess, they were saying they only request stress tests when there’s a red flag for it. Well, when I came here and I requested, they did a bunch of tests. Before I left the ER, they were calling me to schedule the stress test. That was the awesome part too because they didn’t waste time and weeks to call me. They were calling me before I left the emergency room.

But I made it into the stress test, I started having a heart attack. In South Carolina, they would’ve just sent me home. They kept sending me home, telling me to eat a lot of oranges and bananas, take an iron supplement. So my life was saved by coming here, and that’s the most to be grateful for.

Just to see different faces… I feel like in the Lower 48, down South, we see a lot of Mexican, Black, White and Asians. But you come here, you have the other cultures, the Indians, the Natives and the Samoans — they shocked me, I liked seeing them. So yeah, I feel like we got the whole thing in a box.

But the thing that I like the most is that right around, I see the mountains. It’s a beautiful sight. It’s like every shot looks it belongs in a picture frame.

What I don’t like about it is not having much to do. I’m not an outdoorsman person, ’cause I couldn’t see going into the woods. You’ve got moose and bears, mhmm. (laughs)