WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, AstraZeneca, in continued partnership with Bob Harper – host of The Biggest Loser, best-selling author and heart attack survivor – announced the unveiling of the Survivors Have Heart Second Chance Portraits, a series of photographs that highlight the stories, strength and diverse experiences of heart attack survivors from around the country. Captured by Bob Harper, an avid photographer himself, these portraits challenge traditional perceptions of heart attack survivorship and celebrate second chances as part of Survivors Have Heart, a national community-building movement powered by stories of heart attack survivors and their loved ones. The Survivors Have Heart Second Chance Portraits will be displayed publicly at the Flatiron Plaza (Broadway and E 23rd Street) for a limited time from October 22 – 23, 2021. As part of the unveiling, AstraZeneca and Bob Harper also hosted an exclusive virtual gallery event, where featured survivors, representatives from advocacy organizations The Mended Hearts, Inc., WomenHeart, and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), a registered nurse practitioner and more came together for a panel discussion, focused on the importance of peer-to-peer support programs and the impact mentorship can have on the heart attack recovery journey.
Embarking on a new phase of their post-heart attack journey, the five survivors featured in the Survivors Have Heart Second Chance Portraits will be trained to mentor new heart attack survivors and bring education and disease awareness to their local communities. Over the last four years, survivors have continually shared a desire for resources and emotional support earlier in their road to recovery. Through their own stories, these survivors will become faces of inspiration for those in need of encouragement following hospital discharge, using all they have learned through this community to give back to others.
Bob Harper said: “Through my work with Survivors Have Heart this year, I’m so proud to combine my passion for heart health advocacy with my love of photography to challenge how society pictures heart attack survivorship. Together, we’re replacing images of weakness with ones of strength, resilience and second chances. The love and support of my friends and family were vital in my recovery, and that’s why I’m so proud to see these five survivors preparing to mentor others and bringing this community to even more hearts across the country.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, studies have shown social support networks can help patients with heart disease feel more confident and can create a positive environment to express feelings and help relieve anxiety. Establishing programs to support patients at the beginning of their heart attack recovery period can be beneficial in the long-term.
Alex Dyer, Executive Director, Cardiovascular at AstraZeneca, said: “Time and time again, we hear from our Survivors Have Heart network that community support has been a source of hope and encouragement throughout their healing process. We are thrilled to reveal these portraits and provide inspiration to heart attack survivors everywhere as they find new strength and purpose in their second chance at life.”
To join the Survivors Have Heart community, hear more inspiring stories and share your own story, visit SurvivorsHaveHeart.com.
About Survivors Have Heart
Survivors Have Heart is a national movement that uses the power of patient stories to engage heart attack survivors and their loved ones, while supporting those who may be at risk of another heart attack. The program was launched with an essay contest and opportunity for five heart attack survivors and their caregivers to travel to New York city for a three-day event to meet with Bob Harper. The event was filled with heartfelt discussions and inspiring lessons, where lifelong connections were made with other heart attack survivors. In the years following, Survivors Have Heart expanded the movement to local communities across the United States, uniting local heart attack survivors and Bob Harper, in person and through virtual platforms, to share their stories of strength and resilience to educate and inspire others. To join the Survivors Have Heart community, hear more inspiring stories and share your own story, visit SurvivorsHaveHeart.com and find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
About Bob Harper
Bob Harper, host of The Biggest Loser, best-selling author and heart attack survivor, has inspired audiences nationwide to get fit. He was the picture of health. Bob Harper never considered that a heart attack could happen to him. In February 2017, Bob was working out, as he did each day, when he lost consciousness. He woke up two days later and learned he’d had a near-fatal heart attack and had gone into cardiac arrest. He had to be shocked three times by an automated external defibrillator (AED) device to restart his heart. His heart attack forever changed his life, and he has now made it his personal mission in life to advocate for heart health and well-being. As part of his mission, he partnered with AstraZeneca to share his heart attack experience and be open and honest about his emotional and physical recovery in order to bring together fellow heart attack survivors to do the same, creating Survivors Have Heart.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.