Celebrating Survivorship: Heart Attack Survivors Are Not Alone
February 08, 2019
You’ll never forget that moment. Whether it impacted you or a loved one, it stopped you in your tracks and changed everything.
Life after a heart attack can feel overwhelming. Survivors can feel vulnerable, afraid, or sometimes weak. While every survivor’s journey is unique, the initial focus following a heart attack is often related to physical recovery. What we often forget is the impact of the emotional journey, and the importance of instilling strength and resilience in survivors, celebrating their stories, and offering support as they navigate life after a heart attack.
Health and fitness expert and best-selling author, Bob Harper, knows the significant impact of a heart attack all too well. He suffered his heart attack in the middle of a workout back in February of 2017. “I woke up in the hospital two days later, dumbfounded by what had happened,” Harper said. “I spent an emotional and upsetting eight days in the hospital coming to terms with my new reality.” Today, Bob is passionate about another kind of training: emotional recovery. While changes to his diet and exercise routine are an important part of his physical recuperation, Bob credits further education with helping him evolve his mindset and believes this plays an equally important role.
This story holds true for so many others. The fact is, nearly 8 million people are part of the heart attack survivor community in the United States. While a heart attack can be one of the most traumatic moments of a person’s life, there is hope. Eighty percent of heart attack survivors 45 years of age or older avoid having a second heart attack within five years. The risk of a recurrent heart attack can be reduced by working with a health care team to develop a plan that includes exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, and quitting smoking.
Life after a heart attack begins an ongoing journey toward heart health and wellbeing, but survivors need support on their road to recovery.
By listening to their bodies, working closely with their healthcare teams, and connecting with other survivors and caregivers to share experiences, survivors can build a community that will support them in their journey toward wellness.
Today, survivors and caregivers don’t have to look far. The Survivors Have Heart movement fosters such a community. Created by AstraZeneca, the program is dedicated to celebrating survivorship and offers personal stories from fellow heart attack survivors, tips from Bob Harper on navigating life after a heart attack, and helpful resources from leading advocacy organizations.
Visit SurvivorsHaveHeart.com to learn more.
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