In June 2016, Linda Cleveland had to undergo major surgery after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis with severe myelopathy. The unexpected surgery saved her life but it also changed her life drastically. There were many physical challenges after C3 to C7 posterior cervical fusion surgery.
“Although my surgeon and his team reassured me the surgery was successful, there were many times my idea of success came into conflict with theirs. However, thanks to the staff and members of the William G. Rohrer Center for HealthFitness, my recovery continues to surpass even my wildest hopes,” said Linda.
Nevertheless, after being released from several months of physical therapy, Linda still needed help to regain her previous strength and balance. She joined an eight-week Next Steps fitness program available through the fitness center. Linda was given a pre-program assessment and fitness specialist Lisa Kulis created an action plan tailored to her needs.
“Lisa took time to reassure me through my meltdown tears that ‘I could do it!’ Although the program only requires participation twice a week, the consistent encouragement and the “check-ins” made it easy to follow the workout plan four or more days per week.”
Since completing the Next Steps fitness program, Linda has participated in eight weeks of a small group training functional balance class and “graduated” to TRX® and more small group training classes. When asked about her overall experience Linda says, “The sense of community expressed from the people at the front desk, the trainers upstairs, the life guards who greet me with a smile and other members who add their positive comments, continue to make the William G. Rohrer Center for HealthFitness a very positive experience for me.”
On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Bill Finck felt an increasingly uncomfortable sensation in his chest during his cardio workout on an elliptical machine. Bill had a vacation planned in early August and thought that a visit to the hospital was needed to get the unusual feeling checked out.
“With a vacation planned for August 3, I went to the emergency room to make sure everything was ok. It was not. After several days of testing, I had quadruple bypass surgery on August 2,” said Bill.
After initially feeling better, Bill started to have difficulty breathing and was back in the ER on August 17 with a pleural effusion, having 1,300 cc’s of fluid drained from his chest. When thinking back on this moment Bill says, “It was quite a shock to realize how close I had come to a serious heart attack that could have left me disabled. It took a good four weeks to even get back to sleeping comfortably.”
Bill completed three months of cardiac rehab at the Voorhees Center with the goal of getting back to routine workouts and playing golf as often as possible. After rehab, Bill was concerned about regaining the strength and energy he had prior to his first surgery. He decided to join a Next Steps fitness program.
The eight-week supervised exercise program began with a fitness assessment administered by fitness specialist Lisa Kulnis. Bill’s exercise plan started with workouts twice a week, and Lisa designed a Day 1 and Day 2 series of exercises that focus on strength, agility, balance and cardiac exercise. Bill was routinely supervised during his workouts by Lisa, as well as other fitness specialists who provided support and encouragement throughout the program. By the end of the program, Bill was strong enough to work out four or five days a week.
Currently, Bill is taking training sessions with Lisa and participating in playground fitness class on Tuesday mornings that focus on strength, agility and cardiac fitness.
“I am back to routine exercise and golf at a minimum of twice a week. The support I received from the cardiac rehab staff and the exercise staff, as well as the friendly ‘Hello! How are you doing?’ from the front desk staff, has made this more of a learning experience than an ordeal. Thanks to the Voorhees Center staff, I am fully recovered from my coronary incident with no restrictions on my daily lifestyle. It has been a great experience.”
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