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New peer support group for Narooma

September 21, 2023 5:53 am in by

Heart Support Australia (HSA) is launching a peer support group in Narooma from today (Thursday September 21).

The group will provide essential post-heart event support for cardiac patients and will be led by local Dan Field, who has experienced a heart attack.

The support group aims to offer guidance and comfort to those dealing with heart conditions and rehabilitation.

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HSA CEO, Dr Christian Verdicchio, said that while heart disease has been the leading cause of death for Australians for years, the COVID-19 outbreak and continued infections in the community have worsened the risk factors, meaning the demand for support systems has never been higher.

“Unfortunately, far too often when people are diagnosed with or undergo treatment for a heart condition, they don’t have ongoing support and that can be incredibly isolating.

“Our support groups are designed to ensure that our patients are staying on the path to a healthier life by making it known to them that they are not alone because they are interacting with their leader and group members who have gone through similar circumstances,” Christian said.

According to the 2021 Census, heart disease accounts for over six per cent of long-term health conditions in Narooma which is well above the national average of 3.9%.

With a median age of 58, Narooma’s number of residents with cardiovascular disease is expected to rise as the population continues to age.

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Leading the Peer Support Group will be Dan Field who has suffered a heart attack.

“I am a keen outdoors person. I love to fish and hunt so I am very active. About a month before my heart event I started noticing I was out of breath easier, I also noticed pain in my chest. Then one day my heart rate dramatically dropped it was 40 beats a minute, then 30.”

“I was only 66. I went to hospital and they told me we might need to restart your heart. It was then I realised I was in serious trouble. I had a quadruple bypass and valve replaced.

“I was in hospital recovering for 10 days, at home for six weeks rest and then had eight weeks of rehab.

“When I heard that Heart Support Australia were looking to start up a Peer Support Group in the Narooma region, I wanted to share my experience and give back to the community by offering support to other people who have had a similar experience to mine,” Dan continued.

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The Narooma Peer Support Group will take place on the third Thursday of each month at Club Narooma with the first one happening from 2pm today (Thursday 21 September).

Heart Support encourages people to get involved with the community support session by getting in touch with group leader Dan Field on 02 4473 7055 or email danfield57@skymesh.com.au.

Images: Google, Heart Support Australia

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