Buddy Lohr and his cardiac rehab team
Cardiac Patient Has New Lease on Life
LEXINGTON, N.C. - March 21, 2012- Buddy Lohr saw his heart on Valentine's Day, 2011 - literally. That's the day Katie Twomley, M.D., non-invasive cardiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center, transferred him to the Heart Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem.
Lohr, 64, was suffering from a blockage in his left artery which supplies blood to the heart, a condition more commonly referred to as the "widow maker." Cardiologists at Wake Forest Baptist Health successfully corrected the blockage and in doing so gave Lohr a new lease on life.
Two weeks after his procedure, Lohr was enrolled in the inaugural 36 session cardiac rehabilitation program at Lexington Medical Center. As a member of the first graduating class, he left the program 36 pounds lighter and feeling "the best I have in years."
The cardiac rehabilitation program is a medically supervised program that helps individuals recover from a heart attack, heart-related surgery or a diagnosis of heart disease. The goal is to help patients recover, improve their physical and mental functioning and reduce the risk of another cardiac event. Lohr admits that he was a prime candidate for a heart attack. He was overweight and had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When the chest pain hit, he came to Lexington Medical Center's Emergency Department where after evaluation by Dr. Twomley, he was transferred for a heart catheterization at the Heart Center in Winston-Salem. Lohr jokes that his experience taught him the secret password for getting to the head of the line in the Emergency Department. "Just say chest pain and you go straight to the front of the line," he said.
Lohr described the care he received here and at the main campus in Winston-Salem as exceptional. While he describes his heart event as a bad thing, he said cardiac rehab was the best thing that could have happened to him. "It empowered me to change my life," he said. "I needed a structured program. Cardiac rehab gave me the tools I needed to change my lifestyle and allowed me to interact with others who have been through a similar experience."
Lohr's advice is not to ignore what your body is saying. "Don't ignore the signs," he said. "Get to the emergency department. I did, and Wake Forest Baptist Health, both in Lexington and Winston-Salem, gave me a new lease on life."
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