HEARTFELTGUIDE.COM Invites Heart Attack Survivors to Share Their "Stories From the Heart"

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New Web Site Offers Heart Health Information and Support for Heart Attack Survivors.

I think many heart attack survivors will welcome a resource like www.heartfeltguide.com. I really believe that the support and guidance I received played a key role in my ability to fully recover an active and healthy lifestyle.

Frank Rella, one of the first paramedics to respond to the World Trade Center attack, found himself unexpectedly drawn to the fate of one of the individuals he was caring for – a firefighter who had suffered a heart attack. Rella, who suffered a heart attack some five years earlier, could almost feel the chest pressure and enormous fear that his colleague was experiencing. Based on his own experience, he knew that surviving a heart attack is one of the most life-altering events that anyone can go through.

Now, Rella is sharing his full story at http://www.heartfeltguide.com as part of “Heartfelt Wake-Up Call,” an ongoing national heart health education initiative that debuted in late 2005. The new, interactive patient-support Web site aims to motivate and empower heart attack survivors to lead a lifestyle focused on heart health in order to prevent another heart attack. Contents include, “Stories From The Heart,” where Rella’s personal experience is recounted and where heart attack survivors can share their compelling heart attack recovery stories. The site also includes heart attack treatment and educational information, tools, and supportive guidance for heart attack survivors and their families.

“After my heart attack, I relied heavily on the support and insight of people who went through, or knew someone who went through, a similar experience as I had,” said Rella, also author of Manhattan Medics. “I think many heart attack survivors will welcome a resource like http://www.heartfeltguide.com. I really believe that the support and guidance I received played a key role in my ability to fully recover an active and healthy lifestyle.”

The http://www.heartfeltguide.com site also links to other heart health organizations such as the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center, and patient advocacy organizations like Mended Hearts.

About the Heartfelt Wake-Up Call Campaign

Heartfelt Wake-Up Call is a national, multi-phased heart health education initiative which debuted in December 2005. The campaign was launched by Mended Hearts, a nationwide heart patient support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, and GlaxoSmithKline, which provides all funding for the campaign.    

The first phase of the campaign uncovered the emotional impact of a heart attack among survivors via a national survey conducted by Harris Interactive. The results showed that a majority of heart attack survivors characterized their attack as a life-altering “wake-up call,” giving them renewed priorities and a second chance at life. However, many of those surveyed also say their heart attack left them with feelings of depression, hopelessness or fear. In fact, the survey showed that heart attack survivors are more likely to fear having another attack than death. Surprisingly, the survey also indicated that while an overwhelming majority acknowledge their increased risk for another attack, 40 percent admit they are not doing everything they can to avoid one.

For more information about the Heartfelt Wake-Up Call campaign visit http://www.mendedhearts.org.

About Heart Attacks

Each year in the U.S., nearly 900,000 people suffer from heart attacks, known medically as myocardial infarction. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or blocked. A heart attack is often linked with risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity and obesity. There also may be risk factors associated with family history.

About Mended Hearts

Mended Hearts is a community-based, nationwide heart patient support group founded more than 50 years ago and affiliated with the American Heart Association. More than 21,000 members operate through 280 local chapters across the United States with two in Canada. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics to offer heart patient services through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums. Mended Hearts is dedicated to inspiring hope in heart disease patients and their families.

About the Survey

Harris Interactive® conducted an online survey on behalf of Mended Hearts between October 12 and October 20, 2005 among a nationwide cross-section of 518 U.S. adults aged 18 or older who have experienced a heart attack. Data were weighted to be representative of the total population of U.S. adults aged 18 or older who have been diagnosed with a heart attack. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of +/- 6.6 percentage points of what they would be if the entire population of U.S. adults aged 18 or older who have been diagnosed with a heart attack had been polled with complete accuracy.

The HealthCentral Network and Mended Hearts wish to thank GlaxoSmithKline for funding to support Heartfelt Wake-Up Call “Stories from the Heart” and http://www.heartfeltguide.com. GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For more information, visit http://www.heartfeltguide.com.

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Kathryn Ritzinger
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