Health Matters: Cardiac Rehabilitation

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Cardiac rehabilitation plays a key role for patients recovering from heart surgery, a heart transplant or a heart attack. 

Exercising has become a routine for Vince Bluebaugh.

But about a year ago, he was working out a health issue that didn’t seem to go away. 

What started off as flu-like symptoms developed into an incessant cough for weeks. 

“It finally got to the point where I couldn’t sleep. I hadn’t slept in nights and I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything,” says Vince Bluebaugh.

One morning, Vince was rushed to the emergency room and later diagnosed with congestive heart failure. 

“Probably, from the virus attacking my heart.”

The diagnosis came out of the left field. 

Vince says he lives a pretty healthy lifestyle, he doesn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or experience any health conditions. 

“It just hits you out of nowhere and I really did retire because I really couldn’t do justice to my job,” says Vince Bluebaugh.

For a year, Vince has been doing cardiac rehab at Baptist Health. 

It’s helped greatly in his road to recovery. 

“When patients have heart surgery or heart attack or congestive heart failure, they’re weak, they’re scared,” says Director of Cardiac Rehab Doug Holloway.

A team of professionals are there every step of the way helping people like Vince put those fears to rest and working to get their heart stronger. 

“They see what others are going through, they can ask questions of the professionals while they’re walking through the program, ramping up their exercise, getting back to their lives faster and better,” says Doug Holloway.

Vince says it’s worked well for him. 

His heart function has gone up from being low to low normal now. 

“It’s a great comfort level to do the same things with the same people,” says Vince. 

Between the diet, medication, and exercise, Vince says to stick with the program, it works. 

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