“You’re Not in This Alone” with Cardiac Rehab
Denise LeBeau, Solvang
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For Denise LeBeau, cardiac rehab at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital (SYVCH) has been a great comfort.
“I just instantly loved it,” says the 65-year-old, who started visiting the gym-style setting three days a week after her heart surgery in March. “It really is a reassurance.”
For 30 years, the hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department has assisted patients as they recover from cardiac surgeries, procedures or significant events, such as heart attacks. The staff also helps patients with heart failure.
LeBeau had a faulty aortic valve successfully replaced at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH). She found the same kind of thoughtful approach that she experienced during her surgery evident with the cardiac rehab staff at SYVCH.
With medical supervision, she gradually increased her level of exercise using the program’s workout equipment without feeling stressed. The program’s nurse, technicians and dietitian have helped guide her recovery, and if needed, could consult with her physician. She has also enjoyed the “camaraderie” of other cardiac rehab patients.
SYVCH Cardiopulmonary Rehab Coordinator Marsha Griggs says patients are typically placed in workout groups of four to eight. As they get to know each other, they lend extra support. “I think that’s part of the magic,” Griggs says. “It’s nice to know that you’re not in this alone.”
For LeBeau, whose Solvang home is just minutes away, the convenient setup and schedule complements her other activities. She’s gotten back to golf three days a week with girlfriends, bocce ball league play with her husband and walks with her poodle, DJ.
“I almost don’t want to leave cardiac rehab because I think it’s been so beneficial for me.”