"Cardiac Rehab" Helps Local Man After Open Heart Surgery

"Cardiac Rehab" Helps Local Man After Open Heart Surgery
By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

ODESSA: Thomas Dynneson knows about heart problems all to well. A few months ago, Dynneson was rushed to the hospital after getting carbon dioxide poisoning from a furnace. But after running some tests, doctors found out he had some major heart problems.

"I was in the hospital for about a month and they did open heart surgery. I had a three way blockage, which is very dangerous," Dynneson said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death to men in women in the Untied States.

After Dynneson's surgery, he still had a long way to go and that's when he started something called "Cardiac Rehab."

"Our target is to get their heart rate up and their blood pressure up to increase the viability of the cardiac arteries that are on the outside of the heart," Bradford Cass, Nurse Clinician at Medical Center Hospital, said.

"Cardiac Rehab" is a 12 week process. Patients do everything from biking, treadmill workouts to even rowing. It's all in an effort to strengthen heart muscles. In fact, Medical Center Hospital tells NewsWest 9, patients with heart problems that participate in cardiac rehab have a 50% better chance of not going back to the hospital due to cardiac issues, and so far, Dynneson has shown great improvements.

"I hobbled in on a cane and I jogged out of here by the time it was over with," Dynneson said.

"It's really fulfilling to watch the progress of a heart surgery patient or a heart attack patient," Cass said.