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Stories from the Heart Podcast

Heart stories


Stories from the Heart Podcast

A podcast series that delves deeply into the personal experiences of the people navigating life with heart conditions, and of those researching solutions to heart disease’s biggest challenges

This series aims to harness the story-telling power of people’s experiences with heart disease, Australia’s leading cause of death, to influence positive action on heart health across the country and raise awareness that could help save lives.

Join us as we embark on a journey of resilience, courage, and inspiration. Each episode offers a unique perspective on living with heart conditions and shares practical advice for fostering emotional health. Stories from the Heart aims to create a supportive community where individuals facing similar challenges can find solace, encouragement, and a wealth of shared wisdom.

Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes as we amplify the voices of those with lived experience, fostering a sense of connection and understanding in the broader community.

Episode 1 - The Race To Keep Young Hearts Beating

Sudden cardiac arrest – where the heart suddenly stops beating – is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 50 and under.

Worryingly, it can strike even seemingly healthy people, like 31-year-old Bryan Maris, an A-Grade cyclist who passed away in his sleep.

Bryan's wife, Jessica Maris, is now working to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and the need for more research in this space to better understand and prevent unnecessary death in younger Australians.

Jess’ children are now at risk of the same genetic condition that is believed to have led to Bryan's sudden cardiac arrest, adding to the urgency of her advocacy in this space.

Thanks to support from donors, the Heart Foundation is funding work by Dr Elizabeth Paratz to compile the world's largest registry of sudden cardiac deaths which will give scientists their closest look yet at possible causes in young people.

Episode 2 - The Wiggles’ Greg Page on AEDs and the Chain of Survival

In this episode of Stories from the Heart, we shine a spotlight on the critical role of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the chain of survival.

Join us as we delve into the heart-wrenching narrative of Greg Page, the original yellow Wiggle, whose life was saved by the swift actions of bystanders armed with an AED.

Through Greg's harrowing account of experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest during a concert and the crucial moments that followed, we gain a profound understanding of the life-saving impact of AEDs in emergencies.

Tune in as we explore Greg's journey of recovery and his subsequent mission to advocate for widespread AED access through his organisation, Heart Of The Nation.

Learn about the power of community-driven initiatives and the transformative potential of AEDs in increasing survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest.

Episode 3 - Surviving sudden cardiac arrest: Laurie and Mark's journey

What happens when you've committed your life to improving the cardiovascular health of others, but you're one day confronted with the sudden cardiac arrest of a loved one?

In this episode of "Stories from the Heart," we delve into the harrowing experience of Laurie and Prof Mark Haykowsky as they recount the events surrounding Laurie's sudden cardiac arrest. 

Mark's perspective, both as a cardiologist and a husband, provides valuable insights into the medical aspects of sudden cardiac arrest, emphasising the importance of knowing CPR and AED locations. 

Laurie's journey from the brink of death to recovery is a testament to the power of perseverance and the unwavering support of loved ones.

Through their story, Mark and Laurie emphasis the significance of heart health awareness and the need for proactive measures to prevent cardiovascular disease. 

Episode 4 - Beyond the Finish Line: Exploring Exercise Cardiology with Dr Aaron Baggish

In this episode, we speak with former Medical Director for the Boston Marathon, Dr Aaron Baggish, who takes us back to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, recounting his harrowing experience as one of the first responders on the scene.

From the chaos of the explosions to the impromptu trauma care provided amidst the devastation, Dr Baggish shares his insights into resilience, trauma, and the importance of preparedness in the face of unforeseen crises.

Drawing from his expertise as a sports cardiologist, Dr Baggish discusses the fascinating intersection of exercise and heart health. We also explore the impact of rigorous physical activity on elite athletes' hearts, the nuances of managing cardiac health in active individuals, and the crucial public health message underlying it all: some exercise is always better than none.

Discover the pressing challenges and promising advancements in exercise cardiology, from understanding sudden cardiac arrest in athletes to bridging the gap between research and practice. Dr Baggish’s insights offer a compelling narrative of courage, resilience, and the enduring pursuit of heart health excellence.

Episode 5 - Transforming Heart Health in Remote Communities

In this episode, we travel to Barunga - a remote town in the Northern Territory, and the birthplace of a groundbreaking initiative poised to transform heart health in remote Aboriginal communities: the Remote Laundries project.

We delve into the stark realities of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and the ingenious solutions being crafted to confront its profound impact. Through interviews with survivors like Kenya McAdam and influential figures such as Heart Foundation CEO David Lloyd, we look at the connection between skin infections and the onset of RHD, and the unique challenges faced in tackling this issue.

Last updated25 June 2024