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My Best Advice for Anyone with Heart Disease: Real Talk from Patients

In this video, four heart disease patients and heart attack survivors share the tip that helped them most in their recovery.

Brittany DoohanSudha Parashar, MD
Written by Brittany Doohan | Reviewed by Sudha Parashar, MD
Updated on November 19, 2021

Suffering a heart attack is a frightening experience, and one that affects about 790,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While recovering physically and emotionally from a first heart attack, patients also have to consider what they might do differently to prevent a second cardiac event.

Sometimes, the best advice comes from the people who know best what you’re going through. We asked four heart disease patients and heart attack survivors what helped them the most during their recoveries and beyond.

Don’t Do It Alone

“My husband would go to the doctor’s appointments with me. It’s always helpful to have a second person in the room listening to what the doctors are saying, and also to ask questions maybe that I’m not thinking of at the moment.”

—Dawn Platt, heart attack survivor

Listen to Your Body

“The biggest change after I had my heart attack is I listened to my body a lot more. We all get tired, but there [are] different types of tired. Sometimes you try to plow through it [and get] an extra cup of coffee.

“What I did afterward was—when I reached that point when I knew I was done—I was done. I’d go home, I’d leave early.”

—Shaun Clancy, heart attack survivor

Find Support in Your Community

“My doctor recommended Women’s Heart, [a] nonprofit organization that helps women deal with heart issues, and that was very helpful because I didn’t feel alone. We all have different heart conditions, but we’re all in the same boat. We have to find ways to keep striving to live.”

—Yesenia Araujo, heart attack survivor

Realize Things Will Get Better

“I never thought I’d be the same, and I was really down. As time went on, things got back to normal. Anything I could do to stop somebody from going down that road of getting down about this and [feeling] that your life will not be the same, I’m all too happy to share my experience and let them know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

—Sammy Rabin, heart disease patient

For more recovery tips, here is a cardiologist’s most important advice after a heart attack, lifestyle tweaks for a healthier heart, and post-heart attack diet tips from fitness guru Bob Harper.


High Lp(a) Is an Inherited Heart Risk

1 in 5 Americans has high Lp(a), which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by 2-4x

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Heart attack. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021. (Accessed on November 20,2021 at https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_attack.htm.)

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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