Heart emergencies change your life in an instant. Bill Odorizzi learned this after doctors discovered life-threating blockages in his arteries. But he found better health after his doctor recommended cardiac rehab.
“When you have major surgery, you question if you’re going to live,” Odorizzi said. “But cardiac rehab gave me the confidence that I could live my life again.”
Finding the Blockage
Odorizzi’s heart problems began on the golf course. As he and his godson approached the 16th hole one day, Odorizzi started to struggle. His arms felt heavy. His chest grew tight. And he wasn’t sure he could continue playing. He reached the end of the course, but it was a challenge.
A few days later, at a Fourth of July cookout, Odorizzi asked his cardiologist neighbor about the symptoms he’d felt on the golf course. His neighbor said they would get Odorizzi in for a full workup as soon as possible.
He eventually learned that his main artery was 96 percent blocked, and his other two were 70 percent blocked. He was admitted into the hospital; staff were afraid he wouldn’t survive another episode.
Odorizzi had triple bypass surgery. His cardiologist recommended the cardiac rehab program at Kettering Health Main Campus as part of his recovery.
Finding Support at Cardiac Rehab
Thrilled to have a second chance at life, Odorizzi committed to giving his best in rehab to make a full recovery. He attended rehab three times a week for 12 weeks. He lost weight, grew stronger, and gained confidence. Supported by the staff, he felt he had a personal team cheering for him.
“Without all the support they gave me at cardiac rehab, I wouldn’t have had as successful of a recovery,” Odorizzi said. “They were so caring and so supportive — I saw progress each week that encouraged me to keep going.”
For Odorizzi, cardiac rehab was as important as the surgery, and he plans to continue exercising. He now takes daily walks with his wife and their dog.
Every chance he gets, he recommends cardiac rehab to his friends with cardiac problems.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of rehab. The staff kept me motivated and made me feel like I was going to be OK,” Odorizzi said. “The people there are so dedicated, and they did so much for me. For them, this is more than a job — it’s a calling.”The original version of this story was posted by Kettering Health.