Two years ago, the most exercise Bob Evans got was walking to the dinner table. He can joke about it now, but then, it was no laughing matter. His cholesterol was more than 700 and he was on the verge of a heart attack.
Mary Anne Stecher, RN, BC, a certified cardiac rehabilitation nurse and the program's coordinator, evaluates Mr. Evans' progress during his exercise session. Two years ago his cholestrol level was more than 700; today it's around 140.
"Thank God for Winthrop," he said. "The Hospital is without a doubt a leader in heart care. They turned my life around."
A retired high school administrator, the 56-year-old led a very sedentary life until he received a wake-up call: "My wife went in to see the doctor because she wasn't feeling well, but I walked out hearing that I was at a high risk for a heart attack, and in need of an angiogram," he explained. A week later, he underwent sextuple cardiac bypass surgery at Winthrop.
He then enrolled in the Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, a 12-week plan consisting of three, one-hour, supervised exercise sessions per week. The first week was tough, but a multi-disciplinary staff of sed exercise sessions per week. The first week was tough, but a multi-disciplinary staff of cardiologists, exercise physiologists, cardiac nurses, dietitians and behavior specialists monitored his progress while providing crucial emotional support. By week six, Mr. Evans felt the improvement. "It was so addicting," he added. "I have nothing but accolades for this program and the personal care I received."
Today, his cholesterol is down to a little over 140, and he beams when he says he just finished a run.
Participants also are encouraged to attend weekly educational sessions. "The lectures are informative and beneficial because you are able to talk about sensitive issues with others, who are in the same boat, without feeling embarrassed," explained Mr. Evans. "It truly is a family atmosphere."
Program graduates, like Mr. Evans, are encouraged to keep up their progress by continuing non-monitored exercise twice a week to maintain physical stamina.
"Scientific evidence demonstrates that a cardiac rehabilitation program retards the progression of cardiac artery diiiiisease, improves a patient's cholesterol profile, and helps reduce symptoms, disability and mortality, as well as the need for further cardiac interventions," explained Joseph Gardella, MD, Ph.D, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
"Most importantly, cardiac rehab can reduce the incidence of subsequent heart attacks," added Mary Anne Stecher, RN, BC, a certified cardiac rehabilitation nurse and the program's coordinator. "It can improve exercise tolerance, quality of life, and promote a sense of well-being."
For Mr. Evans, it saved his life.
For more information about the program, call (516) 663-2599