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Message from Heart Foundation Medical Director, Dr. Gerry Devlin

Heart disease is New Zealand's single biggest killer, taking the lives of more than 6,000 every year.  Since the Heart Foundation was founded in 1968, the gains we have seen in preventing heart disease have slowed. We’re now seeing an increase in the numbers of people both dying from and living with heart disease globally, including more young people being affected.

Informed by research, how heart disease is diagnosed and treated has changed dramatically in recent years. Advances in risk assessment and early recognition of symptoms now allows for early diagnosis, treatment and better management for people living with heart disease.

While the outcomes for people with heart attacks and other heart conditions have improved, due to the research that Heart Foundation supporters like you helped fund, there is still more work to be done.

This February, we’re calling on kind people like you to help save Kiwi lives, by supporting the Big Heart Appeal.

Your donation to the Big Heart Appeal will make world-class heart research possible, enabling researchers, doctors and nurses to keep finding ways to improve the heart health of New Zealanders.

You can also help fund overseas training for New Zealand cardiologists so they can bring the latest skills and treatments back to benefit Kiwis living with heart disease.

With heart disease claiming the life of one Kiwi every 90 minutes, your donation is vital in the fight against New Zealand’s single biggest killer.

Thank you for your big-hearted support of our biggest fundraising event of the year, helping to fund life-saving heart research.

Dr Gerry Devlin


Anyone, anywhere, at any time


Hear from some of our storytellers, who have been given a second chance at life, thanks to life-saving heart research.




For Natalie, a young wife, mother and nurse, a cardiac event happened on what seemed like an ordinary evening. But her nursing background immediately sounded internal alarms and she knew she was experiencing something out of the ordinary.

Read Natalie's story



Adventure fisherman, entrepreneur and father of four, Andrew Hill, suffered the first of three heart attacks at 40 years old. He says he greatly respects the New Zealand cardiologists and heart surgeons who save lives and give those with heart conditions a better quality of life.


Read Andrew's story

Andrew Hill appears to be laughing - he is wet, as though he has just come out of the sea or has been caught in heavy rain.



Faye, a 48-year-old schoolteacher at a primary school in Whanganui, epitomises the term ‘busy mum’ juggling a job, husband Ivan, and three children. A cardiac arrest at a sports event brought her life to a screeching halt forcing her to reassess things.


Read Faye's story



Wellingtonian Jeff McEwan is living life to its fullest, though just four years ago he was on the operating table receiving life-saving surgery for blockages in his arteries. 


Read Jeff's story

Read more inspiring stories from Phil and Caroline.