Sharing support and offering guidance to heart patients

Published in Heart & Vascular Author: CentraCare

Photo above: Among those who attended the Mended Hearts annual golf tournament this past Monday included 23 heart attack and heart surgery survivors.  

Prior to this year's Zipper Open, Mended Hearts had helped raise money for Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) at 16 different locations in Central Minnesota. After this week's event, it is hoped that five or six additional AEDs can be purchased and made available in the community.

If you experience a heart event, your health care provider can tell you what’s happening in your body and make recommendations for treatment.

Often, he or she can't tell you what it personally feels like to have a heart attack or what it feels like to deal with the necessary lifestyle changes that follow.

There’s no doubt that having a heart attack or being diagnosed with a heart disease can be a life-changing event. For affected individuals, there is an organization working to provide needed support for all the trials that go with this new reality.

Mended Hearts is a national and community-based organization working to provide hope and peer-to-peer support to heart disease patients, their families and their caregivers. Throughout North America, there are more than 300 Mended Hearts chapters. The local group in Central Minnesota regularly meets at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center.

Among the things the local Mended Hearts volunteers include:

  • visiting and offering encouragement to hospital heart patients
  • arranging educational talks so members can learn about the latest developments in heart care
  • offer peer-to-peer support by discussing the range of emotions disbelief, anger, frustration that can come with the recovery process — these often include disbelief, anger and frustration

This Monday, the Mended Hearts members got together to help support future patients. The group’s annual golf tournament, nicknamed the Zipper Open, was held at Blackberry Ridge in Sartell. The tournament is called the Zipper Open because many heart surgery patients share a zipper-shaped scar as a reminder of their health scare.

Funds raised from the event will towards purchasing Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) that can provide life-saving care to those suddenly go into cardiac arrest. Proceeds also will provide additional training and support in Central Minnesota.

Prior to this year's Zipper Open, Mended Hearts had helped raise money for AEDs at 16 different locations in Central Minnesota. After this week's event, it is hoped that five or six additional AEDs can be purchased and made available in the community.

For more information about the local Mended Hearts chapter, visit the group’s webpage, their Facebook page or call 320-255-5892.

Or read the recent St. Cloud Times story discussing Mended Hearts, its members and its mission.