Cardiac rehab changed her life


Brenda Murray, Bristol, started her cardiac rehabilitation program in March 2021 after having a stent placed. Once she completed the 36 sessions, she continued with the maintenance program offered at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center.
When Dr. Farid Jalinous suggested Brenda do cardiac rehab, she was apprehensive. “When I heard exercise, I visualized body building. Then he said yoga, and I saw people on the floor,” she said. “I wasn’t sure I could manage that. I thought I just needed to do stuff for myself at home.”
Thinking about her grandchildren changed Brenda’s mind. “I realized cardiac rehab was about longevity. My grandchildren are 13 and 15. I want to be around to see them grow,” said Brenda, who is 79 years old.
“I could tell the improvement probably after three weeks. I couldn’t even climb steps when I started. I had minor arthritis, even with walking. I ached all over,” Brenda said. “Now I’m not sedentary. I go out every day. I exercise three times a week. My endurance has improved. My knees and shoulder may hurt when I go in to cardiac rehab, but they stop hurting after I exercise. Also, my balance is better.”
Brenda appreciates the physical warmth of the cardiac rehab center and the warmth of the cardiac rehab staff. “The staff are wonderful. Connie, the therapists, even the scheduler. They’re so warm and welcoming. Younger people can be dismissive of people my age. They never were. Plus, they are so encouraging! I can’t tell you how often they say ‘Good job, Brenda! You did great, Brenda!’ Their encouragement produces so much good.”
The therapists also tailored Brenda’s workouts to her needs. She had fallen off a treadmill when she was younger and didn’t want to use one. Plus, when she started cardiac rehab, she was recovering from a broken rib, so every time she walked, it hurt.
“They found two other machines that work with me. Not the bike, but other seated workout machines,” Brenda said. “I’m pleased they monitor you so closely. They know your history. They watch the vitals. If you’re going too fast, they’ll stop you. They’ll ask if you need to take a break.”
Brenda added, “I enjoy it. I never would’ve thought I’d enjoy it. But I do. You know you’re doing something good for yourself.”