Cardiac Rehabilitation Leads to New Knowledge, New Life

Cardiac Rehabilitation Leads to New Knowledge, New Life
“I couldn t do two minutes on the treadmill,” David says. “My heart was out of control., ”

Two years ago Cape Coral resident David Hill was not feeling well, so he made an appointment with his primary care physician. His physician was so concerned that David ended up completing a stress test that day a test he failed.

I couldn t do two minutes on the treadmill, David says. My heart was out of control. Within minutes the team conducted more tests and determined that he needed major medical attention. They sent him to a cardiologist, who recommended a pacemaker. He also needed help in managing diabetes, which he did not know he had.

During his recovery, David s cardiologist, Dr. Robert Cross, prescribed cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is available for patients with angina, heart attack, angioplasty/stent, heart surgery and post heart transplant.

Our comprehensive services include exercise, risk factor education, lifestyle modification and support, says Sandy Childress, RN, system director, Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Did You Know?

The program has three phases throughout the continuum of care:

Phase 1: If the patient s cardiac condition requires a hospital stay, rehabilitation begins while the patient is in the hospital.
Phase 2: This outpatient program focuses on improving quality of life and reducing the risks associated with heart problems. Patients are encouraged to begin the program within 2-4 weeks after discharge from the hospital.
Phase 3: This maintenance phase emphasizes independence and maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle. A physician s referral is required for entry to the program.


Cardiac rehabilitation is associated with a 20-30 percent reduction in all-cause mortality rates and significant improvement in quality of life, Sandy says. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association give a referral to cardiac rehabilitation the same level of recommendation as treatment with aspirin, beta blockers or statins.

David completed the program and learned how to make better food choices and the importance of exercise. I wish I had known all of these things a long time ago, he says. They are such great people. I learned how to eat right and how to exercise. Before, I was eating too much meat, a lot of cholesterol and sweets.

Now, David makes wiser food choices, takes daily walks and rides his bicycle for an hour each day. He has lost 40 pounds and has more energy.

After completing my cardiac rehab program, I joined the Wellness Center of Cape Coral because I want to keep in close contact with people from the rehab program, he says. I m on the right track and I know I will continue to get better.


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