Last month, a group whose focus is heart health and support, celebrated its 11th anniversary.
Mended Hearts, whose local chapter meets monthly at Riverview Health in Noblesville, welcomes Hamilton County-area residents and offers peer-to-peer support for heart patients and their families. The organization works to educate area residents to be proactive in getting heart scans and checkups.
Mended Hearts President Marv Norman has been involved with the group for approximately four years.
“I jogged and worked hard to be sure that I would not have heart trouble but still got it,” Norman said. “I have had open-heart surgery, have a pacemaker and am susceptible to atrial fibrillation. The best thing a heart patient can do is follow their doctor’s advice for medications, diet and exercise.”
The group’s motto is “It’s great to be alive and to help others.” Aside from monthly meetings, trained Mended Hearts members spend time visiting heart patients at Riverview Health to provide support to survivors who have had complications.
“Our local chapter has more than doubled this past year and is working to get better and better,” Norman said.
Norman said approximately 2,000 people die each day in the U.S. from heart disease, more than all cancers combined. He said men above age 40, women above age 50, those who smoke, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or have a family history of heart health issues should consider a heart scan.
A relatively new initiative also has given the group a renewed purpose – the donation of AEDs to nonprofits in Hamilton County. To date, Mended Hearts has donated AEDs to The Good Samaritan Network, the Atlanta Fire Dept. and Life Church in Noblesville.
“Our initial goal is to work with one not-for-profit per month,” Norman said. “We have a relationship with Bolt for the Heart in Carmel to purchase the AEDs and they offer their support to us. We have purchased a couple more AEDs but are looking for sponsors to help purchase more.”
Mended Hearts meets at 11:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are free. The next meeting is July 17 at the Riverview Health Professional Building, Rooms A and B, 395 Westfield Rd., Noblesville. For more, visit riverview.org/classes/mended-hearts.