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Heart disease has a very real impact on people. By sharing real stories from real people, we can raise awareness of heart disease and what can be done about it.
When Elle Pendrick was told she needed her fifth open heart surgery at age 33, she was completely numb and shell-shocked.
Kelsey shares her dad's story: 'Losing him was a complete shock'
When Kelsey was 25, her beloved dad, ‘Chrisso’ had a fatal cardiac event, leaving the close-knit family completely devastated. Now, the Melbourne paramedic and critical care nurse is on an incredible mission to save as many lives as she can in her dad’s name.
Marjorie Doyle was born with a complex form of congenital heart disease in 1955. She survived against the odds, and now she wants to give back and help others.
After trying to conceive for seven years, Samara was devastated to discover her baby had several heart defects. Riley had her first open heart surgery two weeks after she was born, and at nine weeks, she suffered a cardiac arrest.
Author, journalist and editor Ben McKelvey was fit, carefree and enjoying his work as a magazine journalist. Then one day, while boxing in his lunchbreak at age 27, he suffered a stroke.
Nicole Gallacher was 22 weeks pregnant when she got a headache and collapsed at home. She lost her baby boy, Ned, and almost died on the operating table.
Matt and Clancy's story
After suffering a heart attack at the age of just 40, Matt is acutely aware that his family history of heart disease could one day impact his son, Clancy. He shares his heartfelt thoughts in a letter to Clancy.
Matt Shields was not your usual suspect when he had a heart attack aged 40.
Aged just 38, Phil had no reason to think the aches and pains he had been suffering were anything sinister. Here is his story in his own words.
“Is that where the doctor fixed your heart, Nana?” It was an emotional conversation for Jean to have with her granddaughter, as they looked at Jean’s new scars on her chest. Jean’s heart attack had come out of the blue and resulted in a triple bypass.
Bruna never got sick and rarely took a day off work, so when she experienced indigestion at work, she initially ignored it.
Faye Stephen is a young 53. She goes to the gym and Zumba classes regularly, swims every day, doesn’t drink or smoke, and has been a vegetarian for over a decade.
Alan and Jan never expected to lose their happy and active 13-year-old son, Alistair.
Greg and Jo's story
Every day, 23 Australians die from a heart attack. Every year, roughly 55,000 suffer a life-threatening cardiovascular emergency. Like so many, Greg Bridgman never thought it would happen to him.
Ross has a family history of heart disease, with his father and his brothers all suffering heart attacks around the age of 58.
Four years ago, when Jason first felt a squeezing pain across his chest while cycling around Olympic Park in Sydney, he dismissed it as a pulled muscle. He got in his car and drove home.
Phil Dobrincic is a young and active 50-something year old. A devoted husband to Jenny and dedicated father of four, Phil has enjoyed fatherhood, its challenges and rewards, for more than 20 years.
Maryanne had been feeling run down, but she put it down to working long hours, driving long distances and being sick with a bad cough along with the flu.
Born with a hole in his heart, Kelvin nearly didn’t survive open heart surgery at just seven years old.
For Katherine Haggarty, hearing about how far research into congenital heart disease has advanced brings a bittersweet joy.
Linda was born with congenital heart disease and has undergone four open heart surgeries. But that hasn't stopped her from working on her cattle and crop farm, and raising her two boys.
“My heart condition is important to me as it’s something I have, but it’s not who I am,” says 22-year-old Taylor.
Until she was 18, Natalie had no idea she had a potentially lethal heart defect that could stop her dream of having a baby.
“It’s just bad luck.” That’s what the doctors told Sarah when she suffered a stroke at age 33, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Liesl may only have half a working heart, but she hasn’t let that stop her. In fact, it inspired her to help others like her.
“The shock of hitting my chest so hard when I fell was enough to restart my heart and allow me to carry on.”
At the age of 5, Brad was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He has faced a lifetime of health complications, including losing both his legs below the knee. And yet remarkably, he has remained incredibly positive through it all.
Carly was 40 with a new baby at home, when she started feeling dizzy, nauseous and having vision problems. She put it down to lack of sleep, but it turned out to be something much worse.
At just 22 years old, Jake suffered a stroke. Two days after leaving hospital, he had another. This is his story.
Kerri always suspected there was a link between experiencing preeclampsia with her first child and developing hypertension later in life. She speaks from the heart to share her story.
Beverley has always been a fighter. It was that fighting spirit that helped her survive and recover from a mini-stroke.
Laura experienced both preeclampsia and gestational diabetes while pregnant with twins. Keen to help other first-time mothers, Laura shares her story.
Throughout her pregnancy, Renee was assured that everything was okay, even though she knew something wasn’t quite right. From there, problems developed quickly.
Congenital heart disease affects up to one in every 100 babies. I was that one baby. My name is Cara. I’m 35, and I’ve had five open heart surgeries.
Basil and Siana's story
“Your daughter needs open heart surgery.” For Basil and Susan Mourtos, these words were the start of their worst nightmare become reality.