10 inspiring quotes we can all learn from
We meet many amazing survivors, who show that heart problems don't need to be the end of life as you know it. Here are their most inspiring pieces of advice.
1. “My message for anyone who thinks they can’t do it is: ‘Yes you can. You can do anything’”
Shaista Khaliq, 40, started to put on weight when she had her four children. But by getting active and eating healthily, she lost more than four stone (26kg) and ran a half marathon.
2. “I want people to know that you can survive. Even when things go wrong, it doesn’t have to be the end of the line”
John Morgan, 67, was helped through a life-threatening illness with the support of his wife Janice, who had her own inspirational words: “This experience has made me realise not to take things for granted. I’ve found inner strength in myself – and it has made John and I much more tolerant of each other and closer in consequence. To anyone in a similar situation: don’t give up hope and ensure you’re fully involved in tending to your loved one.”
3. “I’ve been to dark places, but I’m still a desirable, attractive woman and the scar is part of the life I’ve lived”
Emotional support from her family and a new partner helped Valerie Johnson, 61, to come to terms with her scar from heart surgery.
4. “Be brave. Afterwards, don’t be worried about your scar. Just be proud and know that you’ve won the battle”
Michelle Houston had heart surgery in her 20s. Gradually she's learned to view her scar as a sign of bravery.
5. “My advice to anybody who has had a heart attack is not to simply think that that’s the end. Life can continue on normally afterwards”
Chris Courtenay Williams, 71, is a dedicated football player. When he had a heart attack, he feared he’d have to quit his favourite game.
6. “I have learned that life can change very abruptly and unexpectedly, so I plan ahead. It will mean that I can carry on doing what I find so rewarding”
Heart failure has meant that Ruth Rogers can't do as much gardening as she used to. But inspired by Heart Matters, she's found ways to carry on with her beloved hobby.
7. “I just enjoy life, because I’ve got a second chance to do things. I’m lucky”
Martin Woolcott, 51, adjusted to life with an ICD and now he can’t stop cycling.
8. “I want to show that anything is possible. My motto is ‘Get up, get dressed and get out there’, and I know this attitude helps me cope with my heart disease and the ICD”
An ICD has helped Carl Portman, 51, travel the globe to see spiders in their natural habitat.
9. “To share with someone and know that it is not just you, it happens to other people and you can recover, is very helpful”
Alan Henderson, 66, lost confidence when he had heart problems followed by heart surgery. He feared not being able to do things he’d always done, like playing tennis.
10. “My advice to couples going through a similar time is to be patient and just believe... You’re not defined by your illness. You’re an individual and you can get better.”
Shirley Mallen and her partner Colin went through tough times after he developed a potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problem, but he's returned to fitness.