For years, working on his hot rods wasn’t a problem for John. Then one day, after taking a break from his hobby to chase his grandchildren around the yard, he noticed himself getting tired sooner than usual and decided to see his doctor. He needed to check up on his cholesterol anyway, so he went in for a routine visit.
Thanks to the observant eye of his primary care physician, Dr. William Pelton, the visit turned into a lifesaving encounter with cardiologists at CVPH.
"I had no symptoms, no chest pain, nothing,” said John, “Dr. Pelton just picked up on something—a bleep in my heartbeat. He ordered a stress test, and after I failed it, he sent me to see a heart specialist."
That’s when access to benefits of the University of Vermont Health Network really came into play. John underwent his scheduled heart catheter procedure at CVPH with Dr. Timothy Garrand, but the cardiology team discovered his arteries had too much blockage to insert the stent. He was immediately sent to Burlington for a quadruple bypass at the University of Vermont Medical Center.
“I probably wouldn’t even be here if it weren't for the expertise of cardiologists and rehab specialists at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital.”
After a successful surgery in Burlington, John was eager to get back home and recover. He wanted to be closer to grandchildren and other family members during rehab, so he returned to CVPH where we put a plan in place.
“It’s important to acknowledge that surgery or angioplasty is only half the process in treating a cardiac patient,” says Dr. Christopher Palma, medical director of CVPH Cardiac Rehabilitation. “The potentially more important component in helping them attain a durable outcome after their event and make positive lifestyle changes.”
With the help of registered nurse Shirley Doolen, Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist Pam Ryan and Ann Watts, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator, John was able to embark on a new life. They kept a close eye on him during his workouts to make sure he didn’t overextend himself,
while the meal plan we set up helped him lose 72 pounds in three months. And because he could undergo rehab and go to all his remaining doctor visits close to home, it meant he could still be near his family in the meantime.
“I probably wouldn’t even be here if it weren't for the expertise of cardiologists and rehab specialists at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital,” John says.
And that’s made all the difference in John’s life as he spends afternoons enjoying his favorite hobby and chasing around his grandkids.