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A very public heart attack

Dame Jenny Shipley was living a life of public service when she experienced her heart attack, which added extra pressure to her recovery. Watch her share the key learning that she believes takes you halfway to recovery.

Dame Jenny Shipley shares some of her recovery journey after her heart attack

"I, having been health minister for heaven’s sake, initially stalled calling a doctor even though I was having a heart attack. My message to you is if you see or experience that, don't wait." 

Dame Jenny Shipley's heart attack came at a time when she had the added pressures of public life. Angioplasty was able to clear the blockage, she says, "but it was a huge trauma." 

"I had to choose whether it would control me, or if I would try and take control. I had great help and support, but it was a personal journey." 

"It was a learning for me, and it made a big difference, that if in your mind you decide to live with and learn from and then beat heart disease, you're halfway to recovery."


Shared May 2017

Please note: the views and opinions of the storyteller and related comments may not necessarily reflect those of the Heart Foundation NZ.

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1 Comment

  • Susan 26 May 2017

    Thank you for sharing your journey Jenny. I too delayed getting medical help (didn’t want to be a pain for local rural volunteer ambulance staff during the early hours of the morning), then fluffed about having a shower, making myself presentable before, refusing to call the ambulance, my daughter drove me from our farm in Fairlie, to Timaru hospital where it was confirmed I had had two heart attacks. I very much regret placing my life at such additional risk by delaying getting help. Never again.