New campaign to raise awareness of Australian families’ heartache

The Heart Foundation Australia’s new campaign – Saving Hearts – is a poignant reminder of what heart disease takes away from families while reminding the community that investing in research brings improved outcomes for survivors and their families.

More Australians die of heart disease than any other single cause; it tears families apart. With one in 4 Australians dying from heart and blood vessel disease, tens of thousands of Australians have lost a loved one, or will lose a loved one, from a heart attack or a stroke.

Yet research has found over half of Australians believe heart disease isn’t relevant to them.

Saving Hearts captures the reality of the life-long impact of heart disease on Australians and their families by depicting a real-world scenario of a family experiencing a heart event – something all too relatable given one Australian family experiences a heart attack every nine minutes. Crucially though, the campaign demonstrates the vital role medical research plays in keeping more families together.

“With 50 loved ones lost to heart disease every day, there are still far too many Australian families experiencing the opening scenes of our new campaign,” said Professor Garry Jennings, Heart Foundation Chief Medical Adviser and cardiologist.

The emotional film at the heart of the campaign depicts paramedics treating a man who is having a heart attack. The man’s young daughter watches on, and he begins to imagine her future without him; celebrating a milestone birthday, playing sport, graduating university and getting married.

“The emotional scenes captured in this new campaign are all too recognisable for many Australian families,” said Professor Jennings.

“However, with more research made possible by donations, we are working with determination to improve heart disease prevention, intervention, management and treatment available for Australians.

“That’s what the closing scenes of the new campaign capture; the fact that lifesaving research funded by the Heart Foundation helps keep families together.

“We hope this campaign reminds Australians of the job we still have to do to eradicate heart disease in Australia.

“While there’s much we know about heart disease, there is still so much more research we can do to help Australian families who experience the trauma of heart disease and the ripple effect on families lasts a lifetime,” said Professor Jennings.

The Saving Hearts campaign supports the latest research from the Heart Foundation that reveals the debilitating toll heart disease has not only on those who lose a loved one but those who survive.

A community wide survey of more than 400 heart attack survivors in Australia laid bare the significant impact the trauma of a heart attack has on not only the individual, but the family that surrounds them:

  • Nearly half (47%) revealed they were unable to work at the same level or at all following the attack
  • One in three survivors revealed their emotional and mental wellbeing had been impacted a lot by their heart attack causing increased feelings of depression and anxiety
  • One third (30%) had trouble driving or were left unable to drive
  • Nearly half (47%) admitted to being unable to play with their kids or grandkids, or finding it harder to do so, following their heart attack
  • More than a third (38%) were not able to enjoy their hobbies at all or at the same level after their heart attack

Even those who are able to return to work are still placed under immense financial distress, with the average cost of a heart attack to an individual and their family close to $70,000 over a lifetime.

“The Heart Foundation is relentlessly pursuing an Australia free from heart disease so we can keep more families together.

“Help us to do this by investing in life-changing research.

“Through research, we can make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Professor Jennings.

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