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François, a former operating room respiratory therapist, was at work when he started to feel shooting pain across his back. François was having a heart attack and after surviving this, was later diagnosed with heart failure.
When his partner André got a call to say that François had had a heart attack, the news broke his heart. He remembers feeling helpless. It became a struggle going forward, but we have to play the cards we’re dealt.
Talking about how his diagnosis has impacted his life, François says he has a lot of trouble with physical exertion.
As soon as I try to do something physical, like bending over to pull weeds in the yard, I can’t stay bent over for more than 10 minutes without being drenched in sweat and out of breath. I wasn’t like this before. I had to change my way of being.
André says that sometimes he tries to protect François too much. We are always afraid of losing those we love. But he knows it can make François feel stifled, so André tries to keep it in check. We deal with things as they come and always focus on the future, never on the past. You have to figure out what to do about it.
Heart failure has changed nearly every part of André and François’ lives. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but we always keep our focus on the future. It is easier to deal with now. I have a better understanding of the disease. Overall and despite everything, I think life is good for us for now.
François’ advice to someone living with heart failure is to live your life an hour at a time, but live it to the fullest. Every night before they go to sleep, François and André say to each other: Well goodnight and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
Learn more about caring for someone with heart failure with our guide
Learn more about managing life with heart failure
Use our symptom checker tool to help you to evaluate and discuss your heart failure symptoms with your doctor.
It’s important to take time to talk to your doctor about your heart failure. Click here for some tips.
Have you come across these common heart failure myths?
Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Florence
We headed to Florence with our stunning LED heart to raise awareness of heart failure and collect your donated heartbeats. See highlights from the event by watching the video below.
Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Dublin
On European heart failure awareness day in May 2016, Keep It Pumping dropped into a shopping center in Dublin to raise awareness of heart failure. See how the day went by watching the video below.
Keep It Pumping supports American Heart Association walks
Keep It Pumping participated in 6 awareness walks in 2015. See how we provided heart-healthy education materials to all those involved.
Don’t fail your heart
Join us on a video journey about heart failure.
Putting our print on Italy
Keep It Pumping joined a special event in Rome, Italy. We teamed up with local artists to create a fun and innovative symbol of awareness. You can see pictures of the event on the Keep It Pumping Facebook page and watch a video of the event below.
Toy-brick heart stop: Basel
Novartis continued the toy-brick heart project at its campus in Basel for European Heart Failure Awareness Day. The heart sculpture took shape, brick by brick, all for heart failure awareness. Watch the video to learn more!