Bob LoFiego - Midland, MI
"The staff at cardiac rehab is wonderful and helpful. If I had questions, they took their time to answer them."
Regaining Strength and Confidence Through Cardiac Rehab
Bob LoFiego’s 48th wedding anniversary didn’t go quite as he had planned. He and his wife, Laura, were enjoying a show at the Midland Center for the Arts. During a trip to the lobby at intermission, he began feeling under the weather.
“I put my hand on my wife’s shoulder and said, ‘I am so lightheaded,’” recalls Bob. “The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.” While walking back to my seat, I had gone into cardiac arrest. Midland Center for the Arts staff member Tony Serra immediately got an AED and performed CPR until paramedics arrived and transported Bob to MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland.
While in the hospital, Bob underwent a heart catheterization and chemical stress test. “I failed the stress test miserably, so they determined I needed bypass surgery,” he said. Cardiothoracic Surgeon Michelle Ellis, M.D., performed triple bypass surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland. While recovering from surgery, it was determined that I needed a pacemaker as well, which was put in by Electrophysiologist Nilofar Islam, M.D. Though Bob says the procedures were “not something you’d want to repeat,” he experienced no pain during surgery or recovery.
“Everyone at the Medical Center was wonderful and took very good care of me,” said Bob. “I was apprehensive about waking up after the surgery, but one of my nurses explained exactly what was going to happen, and stayed with me the entire time to ease my nerves. The staff was also wonderful with my family and good friends who came to see me, answering all of their questions and allowing my wife to stay with me when she didn’t want to leave.”
After recovering from surgery, Bob began the cardiac rehab program at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland. “The staff at cardiac rehab is wonderful and helpful. If I have any questions, they’re really good about taking time to answer them for me.” While at cardiac rehab, Bob does exercises on a bicycle, treadmill, arm bike and NuStep® machine, while staff members monitor his progress and take his blood pressure after each exercise.
Bob would absolutely recommend cardiac rehab. “It builds your strength back up,” he said. “It’s something that you want to do because you want to get well. It gives you confidence that you can be active again without being worried about your heart.”
As he continues with the cardiac rehab program and his recovery, Bob walks frequently to build up his strength. His goal is to be able to resume all of his activities, the most important of which include spending time with his three children and six grandchildren.
“At first, you might feel apprehensive about the cardiac rehab program,” said Bob. “But the stronger you get, the better you feel. The cardiovascular team at MidMichigan Health is superior, and they do great work. I was always confident that I was going to get well and be able to resume my life.”
MidMichigan Health offers a full array of heart and vascular services, including open heart surgery, vascular surgery, electrophysiology for heart rhythm problems and advanced interventional procedures, as well as cardiac rehabilitation. Those who would like additional information on MidMichigan’s comprehensive cardiovascular services may visit www.midmichigan.org/heart.