I am writing this letter because I have become totally dismayed from hearing that the powers that be at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center are considering eliminating their cardiac rehabilitation program. This valuable community service touches five counties and is providing hope for hundreds of stroke and heart attack victims in our area, and I am one of them.
A heart attack or stroke is a near-death event that is very frightening to anyone who has experienced one, and regaining your former physical and mental self is a formidable, almost impossible, task. The skilled and experienced nurses of the Ephraim McDowell Cardiac Rehabilitation Center not only make it possible, but they go out of their way to provide a congenial and encouraging atmosphere for their patients. They monitor each person physically and mentally every second (a very reassuring factor for people who have come close to death).
Now age 61, I suffered a stroke when I was a robust and seemingly healthy 59 years old, and I subsequently became extremely hypertensive over the next year and a half. I was told by my physicians to limit my physical activities during that time. My blood pressure was eventually brought under control, and I was referred to the cardiac rehabilitation program at Ephraim McDowell.