Following his heart bypass surgery last August, for the first time in his life Kankakee Alderman Glenn Davidson found himself relying on others for physical assistance.
Davidson is not unlike the more than 395,000 Americans each year who must receive coronary artery bypass surgery. As difficult as the experience of open heart surgery can be, the physical and mental road to recovery continues long after surgery. Davidson says he’s lucky to have been connected to the Presence St. Mary’s Hospital (PSMH) Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.
“I have always been a physically active person and never thought this would happen to me,” said Alderman Davidson, who recently turned 56 years old. “Having open heart surgery is a traumatic experience. It was difficult for me to accept that I needed to depend on others for help.”
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program consists of three phases, with the first beginning before the patient even leaves the hospital. Phase II is designed for the patients following a cardiac event, consisting of 36 sessions tailored to their individual physical capabilities. During these sessions, patients are monitored using a telemetry monitor and are evaluated while performing exercises that simulate everyday activities. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Center staff closely supervises the patient and works with their physician reporting progress on a regular basis. Upon successful completion of Phase II, the patient will move on to Phase III which involves patients taking the initiative in their exercises and everyday tasks. The patient then has the option to utilize the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center to continue their recovery journey.
“I feel great now. Going through the St. Mary’s program was a fantastic experience, from the staff, to the equipment, to the support from other patients,” said Alderman Davidson. “Everyone had a mutual understanding of what we were going through. As I progressed, the staff watched me and made sure I kept up the right pace and didn’t cheat. But more than that, they talked to me, and listened. Instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself I started looking forward to going to the center each day.”
After experiencing difficulty breathing, Peotone resident Frank Woss ended up at PSMH due to weather conditions preventing paramedics from taking him to a closer hospital. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Woss.
Woss, 79, suffers from congestive heart failure and had been in and out of the hospital six times last year. He credits his new PSMH physicians for getting his medications right and enlisting him in the Heart Failure Wellness Check–a program that helps patients manage their heart failure. From there, Woss progressed to the cardiac rehabilitation exercise and education program.
“It has done a world of good for my body and my mind,” said Woss, whose Quality of Life scores and Daisy scores for activities have both more than doubled since his last hospital visit. “Each and every day is a joy to come to the facility. I have been able to stay out of the hospital since August after completing the program.” Now in Phase III of the program, Woss continues to utilize the center twice a week with Marilyn Zoeteman, who participates with him through the Healthy Heart Partner Program.
Cardiac rehabilitation can also be beneficial to people with other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or cholesterol issues. Some of the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include:
For more information about the PSMH Cardiac Rehabilitation Program call 815.937.2085. Presence Health is committed to cardiovascular health with additional focus on women during Heart Health Month this February. Visit www.presencehealth.org/foryourheart to take a free women’s heart risk assessment and enter a sweepstakes to win a Fitbit Charge.
Kankakee 1st Ward Alderman Glenn Davidson returns to the PSMH Cardiac Rehabilitation Center to visit with staff (Kara Piper, RN, PSMH).
About Presence St. Mary’s Hospital
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital is a 186-bed acute care facility with a Level II Emergency/Trauma Center. Presence St. Mary’s Hospital serves Kankakee and the surrounding counties and is a designated Primary Stroke Center. PSMH has also received national awards for Patient Safety, was named to the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Hospitals and to the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience by WomenCertified Inc., home of the Women’s Choice Award.
About Presence Health
Created in November 2011, Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois, with over 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, 20,000 employees, 4,000 medical professionals and a revenue base of $2.6 billion.