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Real life stories


Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, can have a huge impact on those living with them, and also on their friends and family.  The impact can be physical, emotional and financial.  

Here, on the right column, personal perspectives and real-life experiences are shared from across the globe.  The people who have shared their stories have made positive changes to their behaviours to become heart healthy; you can read their tips and advice at the end of their accounts.

We hope that you find the stories both informative and inspiring.

The World Heart Federation would like to thank all those who have taken the time to share their experiences with us.

Have you been affected by cardiovascular disease?  Would you be willing to share your story?
Share your personal perspective >

Are you a journalist?  Are you looking to include real-life perspectives within your reporting?  To discuss interview opportunities, contact


Henk’s story
: 24 years ago, Henk was on his way to work, when he collapsed. Surrounded by people on a train, he was resuscitated by paramedics called to the scene and taken to hospital.
Read more about Henk's story

Saskia’s story: Saskia lost her father to a heart attack. 20 years ago, Saskia’s father was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was referred for brain surgery, but as an overweight man with high blood pressure, sadly, the strain of the surgery was too much for his heart.
Read more about Saskia's story

Philippe's story: When Philippe, at age of 54, was diagnosed with a heart attack, he could not have been more surprised.  He had been leading what he thought was a healthy lifestyle, and had none of the usual signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Read more about Philippe's story