Soon after having a heart attack at work, 61-year-old Gerry Campbell-Days retired from her job in the corporate world. Yes, she left the stress of a challenging career behind, but that was it – she hadn’t adopted a healthy diet or made exercise a part of her life.
“Looking back, I should have known it was only a matter of time before I had more heart problems,” Gerry says.
Seven years later, Gerry was reading a pamphlet about vascular conditions before one of her six-month checkups with Jack Noneman, MD, a highly experienced cardiologist with WakeMed Physician Practices – WakeMed Heart & Vascular. Gerry told Dr. Noneman that she was experiencing the symptoms in the brochure. He quickly ordered a treadmill stress test for her and the results were telling – it was time for another heart catheterization.
Dr. Noneman placed four stents in her heart. Soon after, Gerry enrolled in the WakeMed Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which includes supervised exercise and education about healthy grocery shopping, cooking and eating.
“Since joining Cardiac Rehab, I’ve lost eight pounds,” says Gerry. “I feel great.”
To help keep her healthy momentum, Gerry’s daughter bought her 16 sessions of WakeMed Healthworks Safeway to Fitness, which offers Cardiac Rehab “graduates” a great way to continue exercising in the presence of exercise specialists.
Today, Gerry is on a healthy track and she realizes – from experience – that it is better to adopt healthy behaviors sooner rather than later. A 30-year smoker who kicked the habit in 2000, Gerry knows that smoking contributed to her poor heart health.
“I would encourage women to never start smoking, and if you do smoke, quit now. Trust me when I say that the choices you make – whether good or bad – will eventually catch up with you.”
The WakeMed Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is available at WakeMed Cary Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation at Kraft Family Y (919-350-1875) and at Healthworks at the WakeMed Raleigh Campus (919-350-8602).