For victims of heart disease and their loved ones, non-profit organization Mended Hearts provides a network of hope and support to improve the quality of life for those affected. This national organization has over 300 local chapters and 460 hospital/clinic partners, and has been recognized nationally for its role in fostering positive patient-care experiences. Mended Hearts offers a variety of peer-to-peer support options through its volunteers and through the Mended Little Hearts program, specifically dedicated to providing support for children and families affected by congenital heart defects.
Mended Hearts was founded in 1951 by Dr. Dwight Harken and four of his open-heart surgery patients, who were among the first 50 people in history to receive heart surgery. Dr. Harken and his patients met together to discuss their feelings of well-being following their operations, and realized that others could benefit from similar support. With this, the organization was born with the mission statement to "Inspire hope and improve quality of life for heart patients and their families through ongoing peer-to-peer support".
In addition to providing a network of support to heart disease victims and their families, Mended Hearts acts as a comprehensive resource for heart health education. Its website has a number of easy-to-read guides and advice for topics such managing cholesterol, understanding AFib and stroke, how to stick to your medication, and a number of other heart-related educational tools.
This organization has been praised for the transformative power it has on the lives of those affected by heart disease. Its leadership is dedicated to preserving the original intentions of Dr. Harken and they have continued to successfully provide support and act as a community of hope for those who need strength the most.