Martha Jefferson Monday: Cardiac Rehab - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Cardiac Rehab Helps Patients Get More than their Heart Back in Shape

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If you've ever suffered from a serious cardiac event, or know someone who has, you'll understand that working your heart back into shape is an important part of the recovery process. Susie Neuhauser, a central Virginia resident, experienced the process herself, after having a heart attack at a fairly young age.

"I didn't smoke. Didn't have diabetes. I was healthy when I had the heart attack," reflected Neuhauser.

Looking at her today, you wouldn't believe she underwent open heart surgery just a year and a half ago, after experiencing her heart attack.

"There wasn't any incidence of heart disease to my knowledge in my family," said Neuhauser.

Despite her healthy background, after experiencing a stressful car event, Neuhauser's heart had had enough.

"According to my cardiologist, some of the plaque that had begun to build up in my heart exploded because of the stress and the explosion caused little pieces of plaque to block parts of my heart."

But she wouldn't let her experience hold her back. She started rehab at Martha Jefferson Health and Wellness six weeks after her surgery. It provided a safe place where Neuhauser could get back into her routine, while knowing help was nearby.

"The biggest fear I had was having another heart attack and I wanted to make sure I went someplace where I could be closely monitored."

Martha Jefferson was there to help her do just that.

"When people come to see us, we're watching for changes in heart rate and heart rhythm where we might note things they are not aware of," shared Cathy Reece of Martha Jefferson Health and Wellness.

Now, just over a year later, Neuhauser is back to working out nearly every day and she still goes to Health and Wellness, as it serves as a support and place of encouragement to her.

"Cardiac rehab gives people confidence and allows them to feel more comfortable living their life the way they want to live it," commented Reece.

Martha Jefferson does offer a support group called "Heart to Heart" for people who have suffered a cardiac event. For more information, or to register, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

If you have a question about your health you'd like for us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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