Exercise keeps you fit and helps prevent diseases. We’ve all heard it before…many, many times, so much so that we often tune it out. Suzanne Ganyon wasn’t into exercise most of her life. That is, until she experienced the magic.

Ganyon, 71 of Jarvisburg, faced the debilitating effects of pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs.) “I didn’t know what was causing the shortness of breath and weakness,” she said. Then on February 25, 2016 when she couldn’t breathe or speak, her husband Wade took her to the The Outer Banks Hospital (OBH) emergency room. Initially, the ER team thought that Ganyon was experiencing heart trouble but, after an extensive evaluation, they discovered the clots, and Ganyon was admitted to the hospital. “The hospital stay was great,” recalled Ganyon. “Everyone was very good to me.”

When she returned home, Ganyon had to take it easy and let the blood thinner medication do its job. “After several months of that, I could barely walk–even with a cane–and didn’t feel like I was getting any better.” She met with pulmonologist, Dr. Albrecht Heyder, MD to discuss concerns about her condition. Heyder prescribed a 36-week regimen of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation (CPR) to help her regain physical strength, cardiovascular capacity, and pulmonary function. “I wasn’t too happy about it,” noted Ganyon, “because it sounded like exercise.”

After just six sessions with The OBH CPR team, Ganyon was able to walk without the cane. “You always hear how exercise is good for you…blah, blah, blah,” she mused. “Well you know what? It really works! I couldn’t believe what a difference just two weeks made in my life.”

“Suzanne did not believe in exercising when she first joined our program,” noted Marcie Jurges, MSS, CES, of The OBH CPR team. “As a result of her time with us, she now has an enthusiasm for exercising.” Jurges added, “She has increased her knowledge about exercise and now understands the important role it plays in her well-being.”

The exercise convert completed her first 36-week commitment and then signed up for another 36 weeks. Ganyon drives 50 miles round-trip, three times a week, to participate in the CPR sessions. “The therapists are out of this world, and it’s a joy to come to the sessions,” she said. “I recommend it for anyone.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation or call 252-449-5930.