Jerry Larson was referred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute after being advised to start exercising by his doctor to be a candidate for a heart catheterization. Jerry did what was recommended and began exercising three times a week as part of his Cardiac Rehabilitation therapy at St. Luke’s.
All seemed well until a month later, when Jerry began experiencing intense loss of breath during a ride on the stationary bike. Jerry, age 59, was having a heart attack.
“We are caring for a high-risk population and each patient’s heart is monitored with a telemetry unit,” explains Heidi Jibby, St. Luke’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Manager. “Our experienced team is watching for changes in vital signs before, during and after exercise.”
Jerry understands this better than anyone. “This place… they made me feel more secure than ever because they kept track of me. If I was anywhere else when I had my heart attack, I have no idea what would have happened,” says Jerry. “The staff is well trained, versed and professional in what they do. They knew at every moment exactly what they were doing.”
Jerry visited with his doctor where he had multiple tests and blood work done. After speaking with a surgeon, he decided that the next step was to have Quadruple Bypass surgery. Jerry’s surgery took place early in February.
With his physician’s approval, Jerry made the choice to return to St. Luke’s and rejoin the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. “I returned to St. Luke’s after my two month recovery from my Quadruple Bypass surgery for exercise. There was no question, or even thought, of going anywhere else,” says Jerry.
Looking back on his experience at St. Luke’s, Jerry holds absolutely no regrets. “If given the chance, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am perfectly happy with this place,” he says.
As one of only 37 percent of the nation’s programs certified by the American Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), St. Luke’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive, medically monitored exercise and education program that focuses on disease prevention and management, education and support. In addition, physical therapy, certified dietitian and psychology services are also available when indicated.