The next step in the healing process after a heart event is cardiac rehab. Nancy Naeve Brown met a Yankton man who is considered the poster child for cardiac rehab at Avera Sacred Heart and continues to motivate everyone around him.
Yankton's Bill Grovijahn works hard at working out so he can get back to playing hard catching fish. On Bill's birthday last year June 18th he says he went to bed at eleven and woke up two days later with two stents at the Avera Heart hospital. He'd been airlifted to Sioux Falls after going in to cardiac arrest in the ER of Avera Sacred Heart.
Bill says, "My recovery was fantastic. I went home two days later and 2 weeks later I started up here. I have not been sick one day since I started cardiac rehab."
Cardiac Rehab Nurse Barb Heithoff in the Avera Sacred Heart Wellness Center says, "Bill is a great guy. He is really our poster child for cardiac rehab. He's here faithfully every day and exercises."
Cardiac rehab is meant to be the next step in recovery after a heart event and most importantly the cardiac nurses keep a close eye on the patients so they don't over do it.
Barb says, "When they come in to the program we evaluate them first. Look at their risk factors, figure out how they got in to this predicament in the first place, what changes they need to make and how they can accomplish it. And we always have a monitor on them to make sure they don't push it too hard. We also go over how to eat better and lifestyle changes. "
Not only does the staff motivate Bill personally they also put up an ugly picture on the mirror where he is working out for extra incentive to get healthy and get back to fishing.
Bill lights up looking at the picture of a walleye and says, "That is the most beautiful smile I've ever seen. Don't laugh. That's not ugly. You gotta keep going."
Bill survived a heart attack in 2006, a brain aneurysm in the 1980's and now cardiac arrest. He's come back stronger this time around, strong enough to pull a lot of walleyes out of Lewis and Clark Lake this summer and God knows he deserves it!
Before his cardiac arrest and before cardiac rehab, Bill Grovijahn was a Type II diabetic. Now that he's made exercise a regular part of his life and changed his diet, he no longer takes any medication for diabetes.