Outpatient cardiac rehabilitation gives patient's a second chance
Brandon Brooks disseminates the morning news to loyal KYW Newsradio listeners and, as an usher, John Nygard makes sure Phillies fans get to their seats at Citizens Bank Park. Both active and on top of their games, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Nygard have at least one more thing in common — both were shocked when their ongoing pain and fatigue turned out to be much more. Mr. Brooks, age 55 at the time, and Mr. Nygard, then 68, were each at risk for a heart attack.
After stress tests, stent placements and a bypass for Mr. Nygard, both men are reclaiming their lives through Jefferson’s Methodist Hospital Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation program. “At first, anything that made my heart beat faster made me a bunch of nerves, but their nurses are just fabulous. They gradually got me to do a bit more each time and now I can do some running,” Mr. Brooks, 58, said.
For Mr. Nygard, 69, it was a matter of time.
“I started at four minutes on each piece of equipment. Now, I’m up to 12 minutes,” he said. “The program has helped me with my job because I need to climb my section’s steps, top to bottom.”
Their newfound strength has allowed the men to explore life and set new goals. “I have the confidence to do anything I want. I never think, ‘I can’t do that,’” Mr. Brooks, who recently got his new pilot’s license, said. “I have a lot more energy than I did before — energy and confidence.”
Mr. Nygard’s goals are twofold, but one requires a team effort. “I can’t walk the mile from the stadium to my house just yet, but I make it half-way without stopping,” he said. “Next, I want to see the Phillies win the World Series — and I want to be on the job when they do.”