When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That’s why volunteers, staff and heart attack survivors visited the advanced heart failure floor of Norfolk Sentara Heart Hospital and the cardiac rehabilitation program at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare in Hampton Roads to deliver “healing heart” cards to cardiac patients on Valentine’s Day.
The cards, sponsored by BayPort Credit Union, provided hand-written words of encouragement along with information about the Association’s free Support Network, an online network to connect people with others going through similar experiences with cardiovascular disease.
“We visited one patient who has been in the hospital waiting for a heart for seven months. When we walked in, he was quiet and soft spoken. As we visited with him, he started smiling and laughing. He expressed gratitude to us for delivering the cards, but we were even more blessed for the opportunity to get to know him. It was one of the most meaningful days of my life, ” says Gail Alexander-Wright, Hampton Roads American Heart Association board member, heart attack and double stroke survivor. Local TV station WKTR covered the day – watch the video here.
Recovering from a heart or stroke event, or managing chronic conditions can be challenging. It helps to have somewhere to turn for emotional support. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Support Network is available to help anyone living with or caring for someone with heart disease, stroke and congenital heart defects.
Studies have shown that having support can affect physical as well as emotional healing, reducing depression and improving the quality of life.
Interacting with people who have experienced similar emotions and challenges can help survivors and caregivers know they are not alone.
It’s an easy and secure sign-up process.
The benefits are:
• No cost to join
• User friendly; only basic computer skills needed
• Join an existing group or create your own
• Reliable and creditable information provided on the site
JOIN TODAY: supportnetwork.heart.org