Bob Harper and AstraZeneca bring virtual series to heart attack survivors to inspire others with stories about second chances

The Survivors Have Heart movement continues to grow a national community
to support heart attack survivors and their loved ones

AstraZeneca today announced that Survivors Have Heart, a national community-building movement powered by stories of heart attack survivors and their loved ones, will return for its third year. This year, through a series of virtual meetings and live stream events, Survivors Have Heart and Bob Harper – host of The Biggest Loser, best-selling author and heart attack survivor – will focus on empowering heart attack survivors to use their second chance at life to share their inspiring stories and expand the Survivors Have Heart community. Harper will be going live on his social channels to provide helpful information that can support patients in managing their health following their heart attack. He will also encourage others to share their stories, building a voice in their community, an important component in recovery following a heart attack and especially during these challenging health times.

Bob Harper said: “My personal mission in life has evolved to advocating for heart health and well-being by sharing my heart attack experience. With everything going on in our world, now more than ever seemed like an important time to reach heart attack survivors and connect with them through Survivors Have Heart. I’m so proud of the work we’re doing to educate about the risk of having another heart attack and provide heart attack survivors the opportunity to learn from and inspire each other.”

Those who have experienced a heart attack or have underlying heart disease have increased risk for COVID-19 complications.1 Recognizing this and with an ongoing commitment to provide heart attack patients with support, the live social events will include heart-healthy content such as meditation techniques and the importance of community connection for survivors to ensure a greater focus on maintaining health during this time.

Additionally, Harper and other experts will virtually meet with survivors from all over the country to encourage survivorship connection and advocate for heart health by sharing their heart attack stories. Survivors now also have the opportunity to add their own heartfelt story to the growing community on SurvivorsHaveHeart.com. The website includes a wide variety of survivor stories to help others on their journey and features helpful information about heart attack recovery and caregiving. To connect and encourage others throughout both the physical and emotional recovery after a heart attack, the survivor community can visit the Survivors Have Heart Facebook page, YouTube channel and new Instagram handle @survivorshaveheart.

A heart attack can be an overwhelming and isolating experience and survivors are known to actively seek out health information online throughout their treatment journey.2 Connections developed through community support programs like Survivors Have Heart can enhance an individual’s support network, increase understanding of heart health and lead to greater understanding and encouragement to make lifestyle changes.3

According to the American Heart Association, there are currently 8.4 million heart attack survivors in the United States.4 Every 2.63 minutes, a survivor has another heart attack.4 It is important for those who may be at risk of another heart attack to partner with their healthcare team to understand the warning signs of a heart attack and create a treatment plan for their cardiovascular health.  

Alex Dyer, Executive Director, Cardiovascular at AstraZeneca, said: “When we partnered with a number of brave heart attack survivors and their loved ones to launch Survivors Have Heart, it became clear that they could benefit from a support community as part of their journey after their heart attack. With the fear and uncertainty that comes with this current global health crisis, we know that reaching patients where they are is critical. Through Survivors Have Heart, AstraZeneca hopes to unite this community, support survivors with helpful resources, and provide education for those who may be at risk of another heart attack.”

To join the Survivors Have Heart community, hear more inspiring stories and share your own story, visit SurvivorsHaveHeart.com.

Notes

About Survivors Have Heart
Survivors Have Heart is a national movement that uses the power of patient stories to engage heart attack survivors and their loved ones, while supporting those who may be at risk of another heart attack. The program launched with an essay contest and opportunity for five heart attack survivors and their caregivers to travel to New York City for a three-day event to meet with Bob Harper. The event was filled with heartfelt discussions and inspiring lessons, where lifelong connections were made with other heart attack survivors. In 2019, Survivors Have Heart expanded the movement to local communities across the United States, uniting local heart attack survivors and Bob Harper to share their stories of strength and resilience to educate and inspire others. In its next virtual phase, the program is now focused on encouraging survivors to take action and advocate for others in their local communities to spread awareness and expand the survivor community. To join the Survivors Have Heart community, hear more inspiring stories and share your own story, visit SurvivorsHaveHeart.com and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

About Bob Harper
Bob Harper, host of The Biggest Loser, best-selling author and heart attack survivor, has inspired audiences nationwide to get fit. He was the picture of health. Bob Harper never considered that a heart attack could happen to him. In February 2017, Bob was working out, as he did each day, when he lost consciousness. He woke up two days later and learned he’d had a near-fatal heart attack and had gone into cardiac arrest. He had to be shocked three times by an automated external defibrillator (AED) device to restart his heart. His heart attack forever changed his life, and he has now made it his personal mission in life to advocate for heart health and well-being. As part of that mission, he partnered with AstraZeneca to share his heart attack experience and be open and honest about his emotional and physical recovery in order to bring together fellow heart attack survivors to do the same, creating Survivors Have Heart.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.

References

1.     Cleveland Clinic. What Heart Patients Need to Know About COVID-19. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-heart-patients-need-to-know-about-covid-19/. Last accessed June 9, 2020.

2.     Decision Resources Group. 2019 U.S. Patient (CCH/ePC) Survey.

3.     Healthline. 5 Strategies for Finding the Support You Need After a Heart Attack. https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/finding-support-after-heart-attack#1. Last accessed June 18, 2020.

4.     Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, et al, on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.


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