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Cardiac Champs: A Survivor's Guide [Kindle Edition]

Dr. Larry McConnell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.90
Kindle Price: $7.50
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Book Description

Cardiac Champs was selected as an award winning Finalist in the "Best Books 2010" Awards sponsored by USA Book News. It is a self-help book that teaches people with heart disease, particularly heart attack survivors, how to live a healthy, vigorous, happy life while effectively managing the emotional turmoil that so often accompanies heart disease.

Dr. McConnell's doctoral degree in counselling psychology from McGill University and his personal history with heart disease give him a unique perspective into the psychological effects of living with heart disease; a perspective that he says is noticeably absent in treating the disease. He thinks the huge emphasis placed on such things as smoking cessation, cholesterol levels and prescription drugs is often at the expense of important psychosocial issues. He claims the real struggle comes with fighting anxiety, anger, lifestyle disruptions, and for many, insomnia--all of which are discussed in depth in Cardiac Champs.

Dr. McConnell wisely uses humour and optimism to avoid any cathartic outpouring as he maps out his program to conquer anger, chronic worry, panic attacks and the perpetual fear of death. Even his treatment of traditional heart health issues such as diet and exercise is rather novel as he emphasizes choice and variety over authoritarian medical prescriptions. His unique perspective certainly comes through loud and clear when he discusses his approach to physicians, "They are consultants not managers"; to alcohol, "Enjoy your beer"; and to anger, "Don't get angry, don't get mad, and don't get even." Cardiac Champs is a must read for anyone interested in adopting a realistic plan to control the "emotional luggage" so often associated with the various forms of heart disease.


Dr. Larry McConnell is a survivor who continues to live an active, happy life 25 years after having had two heart attacks and suffering cardiac arrest at a young age. He is a retired psychologist who worked in the health and social services fields for over twenty-five years, first as a psychologist, and later as the CEO for two large nonprofit organizations in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. He belonged to a number of professional organizations across Canada and is listed in Ontario's Who's Who (1996). Dr. McConnell has published in numerous professional journals and periodicals including the Journal of Marriage and Family Counselling and The Family Coordinator. He has written on such varied topics as sex counselling, child welfare, stress and cardiac care. During his long career, Dr. McConnell made frequent guest appearances on TV and radio both as a psychologist and an administrator. He is a dynamic public speaker who easily captures the attention of audiences with his edgy humour and captivating material.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Cardiac Champs by Dr. Larry McConnell was a finalist last week in the Health (General) category of the USA Book News, Best Books 2010 awards"
The Sault Star, 2010

"By 1986,the year after his second heart attack, McConnell had used his background as a psychologist to reinvent himself from a "cardiac survivor" to a "cardiac champ."
The Observer, 2010 & Northern News, 2010

"He begins the book by addressing the heart attack survivor's loved ones, as if they've just arrived mid-crisis at the hospital. He simply and effectively walks them through what to expect in the emergency room, then in the intensive care unit"
Vancouver Sun, 2010 & Ottawa Citizen, 2010

"His book gives practical advice and exercises about how to deal with anxiety. That includes a two week chart that reinforces the idea that these (i.e.anxiety symptoms)are things that aren't that dangerous."
St. Catherines Standard, 2010 & Simcoe Reformer 2010

"Unlike most books on heart attack recovery, Cardiac Champs is packed with practical guidance for dealing with the psychological trauma most heart attack survivors experience."
The Valley Breeze, 2010

"This focus on the mental and emotional aspects of recovery is unique. Indeed, the entire book is marked by innovation. It is even evident in the chapters concerned with traditional heart health issues such as diet and exercise."
usabooknews.com 2010

"(a) book full of great advice for cardiac survivors.......given the rate of heart disease in Canada, it's a book that should be in wide circulation"
The Calgary Herald, 2010 & Windsor Star, 2010

"Dr. Larry McConnell's style is excellently suited towards motivational studies, and will teach students the material clearly without overcomplicating the subject."
BookRenter.com 2010

Review

"McConnell, who outlines 'systematic' steps to serenity in his book,".... includes The Anger Barometer, "an anger questionnaire designed to help people recognize the emotion so hurtful to themselves and others."
Halifax Chronicle Herald, 2011

"An emotional take on heart disease.......retired psychologist says physical factors are vitally important, but don't overlook the mental issues."
Delta Optimist, 2011

"(a) book full of great advice for cardiac survivors.......given the rate of heart disease in Canada, it's a book that should be in wide circulation"
The Calgary Herald, 2010 & Windsor Star, 2010

"He begins the book by addressing the heart attack survivor's loved ones, as if they've just arrived mid-crisis at the hospital. He simply and effectively walks them through what to expect in the emergency room, then in the intensive care unit"
Vancouver Sun, 2010 & Ottawa Citizen, 2010

Product Details

  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mullcon Book Promotions; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q3RMBW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,989 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cardiac Champs July 28, 2010
Format:Paperback
Anyone who suffers from heart disease will want to read this book. It is also highly recommended for their families, friends and colleagues. It is chatty, accessible, unorthodox and provides practical advice on how to thrive while living with a serious health problem from someone who has been there. From how to deal with the medical profession to charting a sensible way to take charge of your symptoms the approach is always funny and empathetic. Doctors should recommend it to their patients.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Read September 28, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cardiac Champs is an inspirational read that is rich in detail & quick paced; as Dr.McConnell chronicles his life's journey after surviving two major heart attacks.
Cardiac Champs is engrossing & the writing is skillful. Although I kept laughing throughout this book, its simplicity is deceptive- Between the lines McConnell is about so much more as he details his personal journey with the medical profession, stress & his personal life; and how he came out on the other side as a happy, active man who had empowered himself to make his own decisions pertaining to his health/lifestyle
This book is not only a must read for heart attack survivors but for anyone with a life threatening condition & also for their family/friends to better understand that once one has survived a serious condition that the fight has only begun.
I am touched by Dr.McConnell's generous spirit in sharing his personal story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Martin
Format:Paperback
This was recommended to me by a family member after Dr. McConnell's second book "A Primer for Old Guys". And it didn't disappoint.

Cardiac Champs is a truly engaging read, striking the right mix of humor and insight -- and it really isn't just for people who have dealt with cardiac disease. I found the information and attention spent on anxiety and just dealing with the ol' temple wearing down to be helpful and informative.

It's sort of like having George Carlin as your shrink.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cardiac Champs: An Inspiring Read April 4, 2013
Format:Paperback
What does a retired psychologist who has dealt with two heart attacks, do?

He writes a book of course.

Now, I'm the first to admit that I've never dealt with a heart attack personally, (though I've been at it closely with loved ones), but reading Cardiac Champs, I quickly became aware that the fears, questions, and anxiety that the author experienced, travels the human being gamut when it comes to having an operation and moving forward after it.

The author had his first heart attack at 38 and his second at age 40. Pretty young if you ask me. But the author takes his heart attacks in stride, weaving a tale of honesty and hope that travels from the heart attack, through recovery and beyond.

Expect insightful information, (book is rated PG-13 for language) direction and a smattering of humor in this heart to heart book, but be prepared to step beyond the boundaries.

Whether you're the patient or the loved one, it's your only real choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for cardiac survivors September 15, 2011
By Wawa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As much as Cardiac Champs is a book for helping people survive life after a heart attack, it is also a book that can assist people who are attempting to overcome any problem. It is an easy and enjoyable read which will leave you chuckling, reflecting, hoping, wiser and believing in yourself.
The book is about survival and the courage to make physical, psychological and social changes in life. It will provide you with a motivational kickstart and help you champion your way to leading a healthier, happier life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration February 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone concerned about their cardiac health or any health related matter. Dr. McConnell not only focuses on the physical symptomatology, but takes considerable time discussing the mental and emotional issues concerning a life altering health problem. He also writes about the often overlooked impact that a heart attack has on friends and family matters. What makes this book special though is that it entwines humour, a positive outlook and a successful recipe for continuing a healthy, constructive life after a heart attack.

The book is also very well written. It moves with a nice pace and rhythm making it easily accessible and contains a narrative that is personable and confiding. Dr. McConnell has a way of writing that makes it seem as if he were speaking directly to you. I would definitely recommend it to anyone suffering from, or has gone through any type of serious health issue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended July 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cardiac Champs is a well-written book, and in spite of the serious subject matter is an enjoyable read. I have 2 friends with heart problems and I've ensured they get their copies to read. The book provides practical and common sense solutions for cardiac patients and their families. But I will go further and recommend it to anyone suffering from other life-threatening diseases too, such as cancer. The positive suggestions and tips dealing with emotions and living an active day to day existence are invaluable to all. Highly recommended!
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