JoAnn Birdwell never expected to be 78 years old. Both of her brothers died of heart disease at the age of 32 and 40. JoAnn had double bypass surgery when she was 49 and stent implant surgery to open up two arteries when she was 59. Recently, JoAnn found out that one of her stents was almost completely blocked and that she needed to start a new medication. But JoAnn is still going strong, thanks in part to the Cardiac Rehab program at Macon Community Hospital.
JoAnn has been participating in the program twice a week since December 3, 2020. “I walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, about 1 ¼ miles,” she says. “I also use the arm bike. I’ve really been impressed with the staff. Teresa Deering (RN) knows her stuff. I ask a lot of questions and she always has all the answers. Cliff Hackett monitors my heart very carefully during my workout. And it sure beats driving all the way to Gallatin.”
JoAnn recently took a six-minute walk test that shows just how much her heart has improved. “On my first test, back in December, I walked 689 feet,” she says. “Now I’m up to 1,100 feet, and my blood pressure has dropped at least 20 points. I’m just so tickled that we’ve got this Cardiac Rehab program right here at Macon Community Hospital!”I am so appreciative of the quality care I receive during each visit, and I love the convenience of being close to home. It really does make such a difference when you know you can have all your tests done here, instead of having to drive out of town all the time. I am so thankful to work here, and when I have to be a patient as well, there’s no other place I’d rather go to receive care.