Two is better than one. When illness strikes, it may be hard for us to get through the tough times. However, the support of our friends and loved ones makes our journey easier. The PULSE editorial team had a chat with Mr. Haris Bin Hussain, 60, to find out what kept him strong throughout his heart recovery journey.
Could you share with us your heart story?
It all started in February 2018 when I was in Malacca with my friends. Between 10pm to 11pm, I suddenly felt cold sweat and uneasiness in my body, which reminded me of the heart disease symptoms I had seen in a video two weeks back. I was very worried so I tried to rest and stay clam but the symptoms did not go away.
I decided to go back to Singapore and admit myself into the hospital. I was told that I had a heart attack and was diagnosed with a heart condition. I had the shock of my life. The next day, I underwent a stent procedure. Before the heart attack, I was actually a diabetic patient and my late mum had diabetes and a heart condition. I was also a sportsman and enjoyed activities such as badminton, dragon boating and mountain climbing.
How did you cope throughout this trying period?
In the beginning, I was in shock because I did not expect to get a heart condition and it worried me a lot. However, being a part of the Caring Hearts Support Group (CHSG) has helped my recovery journey. Hearing the experiences of other heart patients gives me encouragement. They provide emotional support and motivate me by saying, "Come on, this is life, you can still make it. You can still go anywhere despite this." When I am with them, I do not feel like a heart patient but just a friend getting to know another friend.
How did your family support you?
By being there for me. We made it a point to meet each other over the weekends as my children have their own families. We also have a family group chat where we share our problems and encourage each other.
What is one thing you would like to say to fellow heart disease survivors?
Sharing is caring. Your experience can make others feel better and discover things they have never heard of before.
What is one thing you would like to say to the public?
Maintain a balanced lifestyle. Exercise and diet are very important. You must also check your health every now and then as nobody can be fit all the time.