Depression, fear and anger are just some emotions people go through after a heart attack; but you don't need to face heart disease alone. Heart failure is something we don't think about until it happens to us.
"I thought it was Lyme disease and I was kidding myself. it was not, it was heart disease," says John Neuenschwander.
After a heart failure diagnosis, heart surgery and time in the ICU, Neuenschwander says he needed to put his health in the hands of experts.
"We work one on one with the care team so we have direct contact with the physicians, nursing staff, educators, pharmacists. It's really a well-rounded team between the physiologists and the team to getting the patient back to where they want to be," says Sanford Exercise Physiologist Brad Hintermeyer.
The Sanford Cardiac Rehab program personalizes each fitness and wellness plan to accommodate each patient.
"After about three months, they are back to doing their day-to-day activities and hobbies that they want to do. It's really satisfying seeing our patients thrive in a cardiac rehab setting," says Hintermeyer.
From education to exercise programs, the Sanford team helps patients improve their health and reduce the risk of future heart problems.
They also have a state-of-the-art tool, a LifeVest, that helps those who are at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest.
"If it senses an irregular rhythm, it would defibrillate them or give them a shock. It's really a safety net for them as they are moving," says Hintermeyer.
Neuenschwander says support from friends and family helps the rehab process even better.
"jJst take that first step and develop a routine. After that it becomes much more acceptable. It's not a big challenge, it's not a big effort," says Neuenschwander.