We often hear about people who have suffered from heart attacks or see heart surgeries depicted on TV. However, we don’t talk much about the road to recovery and how important it is to work to strengthen the heart after trauma or injury.
Jay Hartman had a heart attack in May of 2022 and, as a result, had two stents put in. However, he also had one blockage that could not be stented and needs to be treated with medication.
As Jay began his recovery, his cardiologist recommended cardiac rehab.
“I had never heard of it, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Jay recalls. “But a friend said it really helped her, so that was encouraging.”
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that includes exercise, support, counseling and education for patients recovering from a cardiac event. Through this program, our patients work with exercise physiologists who understand the effect exercise has on cardiovascular health. These team members use specific forms of exercise to reduce or reverse individual issues.
As Jay progressed through the program, his perspective of cardiac rehab changed.
“I began to see the great value in the classes — the approach was much more about holistic healthy living than I was expecting,” Jay says. “I have chronic neck and lower back issues, and I was very impressed with how the team tailored my exercise program around these issues as well.”
Jay’s individual treatment plan involved attending eight group education classes as well as a private session with a nutritionist and his wife. He also exercised at the center twice a week.
“I couldn’t have been more impressed with the team,” Jay shares.
He worked through three phases and ultimately graduated after many weeks. Today, Jay highly recommends a cardiac rehab program.
“I joked with my rehab team that they had saved my life — but I really do believe it, I think it’s that important.”
While Jay made great progress initially, he unfortunately experienced some respiratory illness this past fall. That has set his recovery back a bit, but he is slowly regaining ground again. We are proud of Jay’s commitment and dedication to his recovery journey and wish him nothing but the best!
Learn more about the heart and vascular services we provide at Bon Secours.