Cardiac Rehab: A Heart’s Second Chance

Donna Case, 78, never imagined she would be a candidate for cardiac rehabilitation. All of her life, she had made a point to live as healthily as possible. However, when her late husband, Ray, became very sick and needed her full attention, Donna allowed her own health to slip through the cracks.

“I wasn’t doing all the normal things I usually do when I was looking after my husband,” Donna recalls. “It was when the doctors were trying to revive him in the hospital that I had my heart attack.”

Luckily, Donna was in good hands during this sudden heart event. Although experts were able to treat her in a timely manner, some minor damage had been done. It was recommended that Donna participate in cardiac rehabilitation at ProMedica Bixby Hospital for six to 12 weeks, three times per week.  After her heart attack, it was time for Donna to get her heart back into shape, even if it seemed like a difficult task at first.

“It was something I just knew I had to do. I had to be healthy to take care of my husband,” she says.

Donna’s sessions included both educational lessons and monitored exercise. Throughout the process, the cardiac rehab team educated her on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise and how to properly manage her heart medication. The physical portion of Donna’s cardiac rehab consisted of light cardio exercise, such as walking the treadmill, riding a stationary bike and using the rowing machine.

“The staff was always right there next to me to make sure I was doing as much as I could without overworking myself,” Donna says. “They were always there to lead me to the next step and did a great job getting me on the road to recovery.”

Cardiac rehabilitation is most commonly prescribed after a heart attack or heart surgery. It can also be prescribed for patients who have experienced stable angina or heart failure, heart valve repair or replacement, or coronary stenting. Many insurance providers, including Medicare, cover up to 36 cardiac rehabilitation sessions, but always check with your doctor and plan to see if you are a candidate.

ProMedica offers its Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at five locations including, Adrian, Defiance, Fostoria, Maumee and Sylvania. To learn more, please visit our website.