HeartWeb, the UKs national online heart support group, is a new resource in the UK, re-launched in July 2012. The idea behind it is based on my own experiences and the aim is to provide the service that I found to be lacking in the UK.
On June 9th 2008, completely out of the blue and at the age of just 45 I had a heart attack. It started with an unusual pain in my chest that wouldn’t go away – not an agonising pain but one of the most uncomfortable feelings I had ever experienced – sit, stand, walk, lie it just wouldn’t go away. The pain then spread into my face and jaw and, whilst I had absolutely no idea that these were classic symptoms of a heart attack, I instinctively knew that things were not right and I phoned 999.
Clot-busting drugs in A&E did the job and after a 5 night stay in hospital, angioplasty procedure and two stents being fitted I was discharged with a fist full of drugs and medication to begin the process of recuperation.
I had so many questions – what did the drugs actually do, what side effects where there, could I drive, how long would I be off work for, did I get full pay or sick pay, should I exercise or rest more, what should I eat, what should I avoid, could I fly and go on holiday, could I get travel insurance, am I likely to have another heart attack … were but a few of the questions I had at the time.
Searching the internet found some amazing sites and masses of information, in particular the British Heart Foundation who do some fantastic work and provide a wealth of information and support but I found there was no internet based national forum or community where I could easily interact with others like me to gain the reassurance and support I was looking for meaning it was difficult to get all the answers I wanted and so I decided to do something about it – HeartWeb is the result.
HeartWeb is NOT a charity nor is it a site providing medical facts, data, knowledge or advice – we leave that to the experts like the BHF and the medical professionals. HeartWeb is a platform where people with heart disease and other heart conditions along with friends, family and carers can discuss their symptoms, treatment and other issues with the aim of helping others deal with their heart condition or situation too. Our goal is to bring you all together to share experiences and knowledge and to help each other.
My number one priority is to make HeartWeb accessible to everyone, that’s why the whole site is completely free to join and to fully participate in.
HeartWeb will grow and develop over time – how quickly we grow depends on you and your input. An independent resource containing tips and advice, product reviews and competitions that’s most of all a support website for YOU … whatever the question we aim to find you the answer and connect you with people who are in a similar situation or who have already been through what you’re going through now.
Completely free and completely confidential – always. Simply register for free, post your question on the site and check back for the comments and answers … it’s as simple as that. What’s more you can use the facility as often as you like and whatever the question you can ask it.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and help spread the word.
HeartWeb has been completely funded out of my own pocket and is currently run in my spare time. I’m hoping that, in time, support and advertising from partners will help to cover my costs but, if you feel HeartWeb has been a benefit to you, any donations would be very gratefully received … either CLICK HERE to donate or you can find a link in the sidebar – thanks – it’s cost me a fortune so far!