While moving a lawn mower off a trailer, Geary Caudle felt heaviness in his chest and attributed it to ‘getting out of shape.’ Unknown to Geary, the pain he felt was much more serious.
“I was undoing the straps and felt kind of heavy in my chest,” Geary said. “I told my doctor how I felt, and he suggested a stress test and a heart cath. After reviewing the results, he told me an ambulance was on its way to take me to the hospital for triple bypass heart surgery.”
Triple bypass surgery is an open-heart procedure which clears three arteries that are blocked or partially blocked with plaque so that blood can flow to the heart more easily.
Following his surgery, Geary was invited to join BSA’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, a 12-week exercise and education course that helps participants strengthen their heart and learn heart-healthy lifestyle modifications.
“The folks in the rehab program are wonderful,” Geary shared. “In the exercise program, they encourage and push you to do your best and to keep going from one machine to the next. This keeps your heart rate elevated, which strengthens the heart muscles. I enjoyed it so much that now I go to the gym four days a week.”
The education component of the program was also important to Geary.
“It was very interesting and helped me learn more about my health as well as the exercise and food choices I make,” Geary stated. “My wife tells the kids and grandkids that we eat rabbit food now because we are buying a lot of fresh vegetables every week. I also eat whole wheat bread, grilled chicken and fish and other lean meats during the week.”
Geary is now living a heart-healthy lifestyle at home and enjoying his retirement with his family.
“My wife and kids know that I've been blessed to have been able to work through my illnesses and recover from my surgeries,” Geary said. “If someone were to ask me if the cardiac rehab program was worth it, I would answer, ‘Yes, yes, yes, very much!’”
For information on the BSA Cardiac Rehab Program, click here or call 806-212-0700.