Improving Your Chances —
Recovering from Heart Disease
“The program is of great benefit for anyone with a history of a heart attack or heart disease, angina, heart surgery, angioplasty or at high risk for coronary artery disease,” says Jacqueline Savoie, RN and Coordinator of the Cardiac Wellness Program. “The program is two days a week for 10 weeks,” says Savoie. She says that each session can accommodate up to eight individuals. Staffing of the program includes Savoie who is a registered nurse and program coordinator, a physiotherapist, a medical advisor, clinical dietician, pharmacist and psychologist.
Pat Clancy of Chatham can attest to the program’s benefits. “Last January, I developed pains in my chest,” says Clancy. He said he was sent to the NB Heart Centre in Saint John where he had two major blockages of the heart. He underwent angioplasty and had two stents placed in his heart. “When I returned home to the Miramichi, my family doctor recommended I participate in the Cardiac Wellness Program.” He participated in the program’s first class in April 2005.
“I am a very strong supporter of the program,” says Clancy. He says he always thought he knew a lot about heart disease but the program helped him understand the information. “I had never looked at myself as someone who had a lot of risk factors until I understood the information.” He said most importantly the program gave him the confidence to make lifestyle changes that have improved his health and quality of life. “After my surgery, I had a fear about attempting any activity.” He says the staff supported him through the exercise portion of the program and calmed his fear and anxiety. “I was given my confidence back.”
If you believe you are a candidate for this service, please contact your family doctor for a referral to the program. Further information about the program can be obtained by calling the Cardiac Wellness Program at (506)623-6166.
Heart Attack Warning Signs-
Sudden discomfort or pain that does not go away with rest
Pain that may be in the chest, neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back
Pain that may feel like burning, squeezing, heaviness, tightness or pressure.
In women, pain may be vaguer-
Shortness of Breath – difficulty breathing
Nausea – indigestion or vomiting
Sweating – cool, clammy skin
Fear – anxiety or denial
Signs may be mild or severe. If you or someone you know have any of these signs, call 911. Early intervention in the case of a cardiac emergency can mean the difference between life and death.
For more information about recovering from heart disease contact:
Your family physician
Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick
110 Crown Street Suite 340
Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 2X7
Telephone (506) 634-1620 or 1-800-663-3600
Fax (506) 648-0098