I am
Show me:
Show me:
Support after a heart attack
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Support after a heart attack

Many different thoughts may go through your head after a heart attack and you may be presented with complicated medical info. Know where to get support.

Key takeaways

  • It can feel scary and difficult to understand complicated medical information and treatments after a heart attack. 
  • Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) is one of the best things you can do to improve your heart health and improve your recovery. 
  • Cardiac rehab programs offer individual advice, group education and supervised exercise. 
  • ​There are many resources for further advice and support after a heart attack. 
It’s normal to feel scared, confused and overwhelmed after a heart attack. After all, a heart attack is a life-changing event and navigating the road to recovery isn’t easy. Questions, confusion, uncertainty and even fear are common. It’s important to know you’re not alone and that there are many other people experiencing the same feelings as you.  

It can be difficult to understand complicated medical information and treatments. It’s normal – even helpful – to have a lot of questions. Make sure to ask these questions to your doctor, so that you understand your treatment and recovery. 

Heart Foundation Helpline 

Our Helpline provides convenient patient support services (by phone) after your heart attack. This can help: 

 

  • Explain and educate you about your diagnosis and any procedures  
  • Explore any risk factors you may have  
  • Explain the warning signs of heart attack  
  • Help you find your local Cardiac Rehabilitation program   
  • Help you formulate questions to take to your doctor  
  • Talk to you about your medicines  
  • Refer you to a walking group   
  • ​Refer you to our nutrition and recipe pages.  

Call 13 11 12 during business hours. 

You might also be interested in

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Alcohol action plan

Alcohol action plan

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Blood pressure action plan

Blood pressure action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your blood pressure....

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

Claude Lam, Open heart surgery survivor...

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Dan was six minutes into his treadmill session when his heart stopped beating....

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your cholesterol and triglyceride levels....

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

Davina overcomes the shock of a lifetime to recover from a traumatic heart story

Davina overcomes the shock of a lifetime to recover from a traumatic heart story

Davina overcomes the shock of a lifetime to recover from a traumatic heart story

Davina was going about her busy life when a visit to her GP revealed a series of heart conditions that changed her life. ...

Diabetes action plan

Diabetes action plan

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

Debbie's heart story

Debbie's heart story

Debbie's heart story

Debbie decided to give cardiac rehab a go and hasn’t looked back since. ...

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

Looking to claim your donations in your tax return this financial year?...

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Emma shares her story and opens up about her emotional struggles....

Get heart attack recovery emails

Get heart attack recovery emails

Get heart attack recovery emails

The Heart Foundation has designed a series of emails to help people who've had heart attacks (and their loved ones) through their recovery....

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Gerry had heart attack warning signs on his dream holiday.

Gerry had heart attack warning signs on his dream holiday.

Gerry had heart attack warning signs on his dream holiday.

I’d always thought of myself as fairly fit; I swam a lot, and did ‘soft running’, a combination of running and walking. ...

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Thankfully for Grant Byrne, a lifelong Led Zeppelin fan, some quick thinking helped him avoid a stairway to heaven. Read Grant’s heart attack story now. ...

Nutrition action plan

Nutrition action plan

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

There are a number of medications you could be prescribed after a heart attack....

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

David reflects on how his life changed when he had a heart attack at 35 and how he got back on track....

Physical activity action plan

Physical activity action plan

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack. ...

The Heart Collective

The Heart Collective

The Heart Collective

Supporting women who are living with a heart condition....

Psychological and social health action plan

Psychological and social health action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your emotional health....

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Get the facts on quitting and how it can help you recover. ...

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Sharing your story could help another Australian just like you to overcome their heart challenges...

Quit smoking action plan

Quit smoking action plan

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Helen's heart story

Helen's heart story

Helen's heart story

It wasn’t until Helen's second heart attack that she realised the importance of exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet....

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Information to help you adjust to what could be the 'new normal'...

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

Kim shares the emotional and physical upheaval experienced on her journey to diagnosis and recovery....

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

I’m a mum and I survived a heart attack

I’m a mum and I survived a heart attack

I’m a mum and I survived a heart attack

Nicola, mum of 2, shares her heart attack recovery story....

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....

Jo's heart story

Jo's heart story

Jo's heart story

Joanne had five stents inserted into her heart in her early forties. Fifteen years later she had a triple bypass....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

After having five open heart surgeries between the ages of 13 and 41, Peter knows a thing or two about recovery....

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Relationships and sex after a heart attack

Explore some useful things to know about intimacy after a heart attack....

Margaret's heart story

Margaret's heart story

Margaret's heart story

Margaret was young, fit and otherwise healthy but suffered a major heart attack that could have devastated her life...

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Discover how to plan for your return to work....

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm didn’t worry too much about his cholesterol problem – until an angiogram revealed he had an 80 per cent blockage in a major heart artery. ...

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

There are many medicines that treat heart attack, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart conditions....

A damaged heart valve meant Ruth had to make a tough decision

A damaged heart valve meant Ruth had to make a tough decision

A damaged heart valve meant Ruth had to make a tough decision

When Ruth felt breathless climbing the lookouts on her overseas trip, the last thing she suspected was heart disease....

Sharing scars, and more, on Valentine’s Day

Sharing scars, and more, on Valentine’s Day

Sharing scars, and more, on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day; some people celebrate, other’s vehemently oppose it. Whatever your opinion, it’s important to remember that the day is about love. All forms of it....

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy, Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack. However, after experiencing a ‘widow maker’, she counts herself lucky....

Supporting Young Hearts

Supporting Young Hearts

Supporting Young Hearts

Advice from young people living with a heart condition....

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

Emotional wellbeing is like having a garden, sometimes it grows green on its own, other times it needs watering, cutting back or fertilising....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Together, we can make heart disease history. Donate today to help fund ground-breaking heart research and keep families together this Christmas. ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Nutrition information panels and ingredients lists are a good way of comparing similar foods so you can choose the healthiest option....

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

General Practitioner Survey 2020

General Practitioner Survey 2020

This survey has been designed to collect feedback from general practitioners about their awareness and use of Heart Foundation materials....

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

How can I set and achieve goals to improve my heart health?

Question of the month blog...

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

Coronary Angiogram Test

Coronary Angiogram Test

This is a common test done to find out angina symptoms, or during or after a heart attack. ...

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

The national heart and stroke action plan aims to identify and prioritise action to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke....

State based advocacy

State based advocacy

State based advocacy activity supporting local communities...

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Learn more about Heart Foundation Walking and find your local walking group....

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

Supporting Young Hearts

Supporting Young Hearts

Supporting Young Hearts

Advice from young people living with a heart condition....

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

There are many medicines that treat heart attack, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart conditions....

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests can measure the levels of substances such as blood fat to show if, and how much of, your heart has been damaged....

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Media Release - 15 September 2020...

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Resources to help you create a more physically active workplace....

Food and nutrition position statements

Food and nutrition position statements

Food and nutrition position statements

CVD and COVID-19 Grant

CVD and COVID-19 Grant

Grants to support ground-breaking research focused on COVID-19 and its interaction with heart conditions....

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....