After it was discovered that Jack Stewart’s aortic valve was functioning at only 20 to 40 percent efficiency, a valve-replacement surgery was performed last year.
Today, the 74-year-old Larned man is “living a much more active lifestyle and enjoying life much more.”
Stewart gives much credit for his recovery and positive prognosis to Cardiac Rehab services at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH), 923 Carroll. He shared his story in observance of American Heart Month in February.
“I acknowledge I was somewhat skeptical about rehab at first but soon realized the benefits,” Stewart said. “I really appreciated the professional way I was treated, as well as the attention to detail and dedication to each patient to accomplish their goals.
“These Cardiac Rehab professionals not only help you meet your immediate goals but also develop a plan to attain future heart-healthy objectives.”
Stewart noted his appreciation to Dusty Thacker, PVCH director of Cardiopulmonary Services, and Wayne Wilcox, registered respiratory therapist.
From June 20 to Sept. 2 last year, this team guided Stewart through a rehab regimen that included exercises involving the Nu Step bike and the arm ergometer.
“I truly appreciate the time this great team spent with me,” Stewart commented. “They made each visit to rehab fun and full of laughter, while maintaining an atmosphere of professionalism. Rehab is not always fun but they made it fun for me. I would recommend our hospital’s Cardiac Rehab to anyone.”
Thacker noted that Stewart “was a model patient. He was always on time and eager to start exercising. Jack also was interested in the education we provided. Patients such as Jack make it easy to come to work every day.
“Most people think of Cardiac Rehab as just exercise,” Thacker added. “While it is a big component, rehab is so much more. It includes education and resources to help you make heart-healthy choices, along with emotional support.”
Benefits include strengthening the body, reducing the risk of hospital re-admission, and improving quality of life and mental health.
Cardiac Rehab cares for patients with varied diagnoses. The team supports those who have had open-heart surgery such as a coronary bypass graft, valve replacement and even a heart transplant.