Patients Work Through Cardiac Rehabilitation
Heart patients work towards a healthier life after medical problems
It's not your average exercise class.
Clinical exercise physiologist Sanya Krenzelo takes heart patients through an hour of exercise three days a week.
"The patients who come to this program are patients who have had either bypass surgery, or valve replacement surgery or repair, a stint placed, or they might have had a heart-attack or have angina,” said director of the program Ruth Townsend.
Some of the men attending the cardiac rehabilitation class at Alaska Regional Hospital said they are lucky to be alive today. "I had a quadruple bypass,” said Carl Jones. “I was the walking dead. I should've been gone but I wasn't.”
Jones is still in class a year after his surgery.
"If I hadn't come I wouldn't be in any condition right now, I’d be sitting on a couch at home,” said Clair Shirey.
According to hospital staff, the 93-year-old – Shirey – is a shining example of success cardiac patients can look up to.
"It gives you the confidence that you can do things,” said Shirey. “That's the most important thing I get out of this.”
After suffering a heart attack in August, Shirey now appreciates the small things in life. "I can put my garbage can out without having to rest and I just did it last night.”
He's even planning his family reunion in June.
"I haul all the relatives together even if they can't stand each other.”
The director of rehabilitation hopes the lessons learned in class will be used to fulfill the second chance these men have been given.