Enid resident Debbie Bell, 57, mother of three and grandmother of six, says she is getting better every day. She attributes the new energy she feels to St. Mary’s Change of Heart cardiac rehabilitation program. “The therapists are very encouraging,” says Debbie. “They are doing an excellent job teaching me how to get healthier.”
New Outlook on Life
Debbie hadn't been feeling well for about three weeks in November 2014. Having no energy and feeling like she had the flu, she went to an urgent care clinic three times. On November 18, while working, she could hardly breathe. Debbie checked into St. Mary’s Emergency Department, and a chest X-ray showed fluid around her heart and in her lungs. “Debbie’s heart was functioning at less than 30 percent,” says Yasir Yaqub, MD, the interventional cardiologist who treated her at St. Mary’s.
After undergoing double-bypass, open-heart surgery, Debbie chose to return to St. Mary’s for outpatient cardiac rehab. She wanted to continue the quality care she received from Dr. Yaqub. Through the cardiac rehab program, Debbie acquired the tools she needed to exercise – both cardiovascular and resistance training. “Regular sessions over a period of time got her strength back and her physical condition improved,” says Dr. Yaqub.
Cardiac rehabilitation at Change of Heart doesn’t stop at physical improvement. Besides the physicians, the rehab team includes registered nurses, exercise specialists, a counselor, dietitian and chaplain. The team addresses all aspects of recovery, ranging from depression, which can set in during an illness, to healthy eating.
A comprehensive program like Change of Heart can:*
- Reduce risk of future heart problems and the risk of dying from a heart attack.
- Decrease pain and the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain.
- Lessen the chance of having to go back to the hospital or emergency room.
- Improve overall health by reducing risk factors for heart problems.
- Improve quality of life and make it easier to work and take part in daily activities.
- Provide peace of mind: an ER physician is on-site if patients need assistance.
“The Change of Heart staff is just awesome. They are very caring. God put me where I needed to be when I needed to be there.” - Debbie Bell
The program worked beautifully for Debbie. Besides exercising, she worked with the dietitian, who coached her on a heart-healthy diet. “I learned how my diet
was hurting me,” she says, noting that she and her husband have cut out a lot of fried foods, and are eating more vegetables and fish. After much hard work, Debbie is
grateful for her progress and the people who helped her.
*National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute