Your Health: Huntsville Hospital heart rehab patient of the year - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Health: Huntsville Hospital heart rehab patient of the year

(Source: WAFF file) (Source: WAFF file)

59-year-old Jack Mulqueen looks like the epitome of strength and stamina, but that wasn't the case a year and a half ago.

He said he seemed to run out of energy doing simple things. And some warning signs didn't register until the physical changes were hard to miss.

"I had a big lunch the day before this happened and I had feelings of indigestion, and then during the night that turned to pressure in my chest," he said.

Mulqueen said his arm also tingled.

The next day, his family doctor sent him to the emergency room at Huntsville Hospital.

"And fortunately I did not have a heart attack. But they did a CT scan and found that I had a lot of blockage in one of my arteries. Ninety 90 percent blockage," he said.

He said they made a plan for recovery.

"So they told me that they would put a stent in and so I'm very glad I did because if I had let it go just another day or two, it might have had a completely different result," he said.

His procedure took place a little over a year ago.

"And it was amazing how much better I felt after the surgery where they installed a stent," he said.

He lost about 40 pounds once he got onto a physical therapy and exercise program.

"Studies have shown that getting back into moving and reconditioning your body post-surgery or MI does help facilitate you in the healing process as well as decrease the amount of times that you are readmitted," said Angie Bates, a nurse practitioner and the cardiac rehabilitation manager.

There's a reason physical therapists want every patient who's had any kind of procedure to get back into the swing of things through physical workouts like this. It goes along with the old adage "if you don't use it, you lose it."

"Any increase in your activity level will help you with the healing process, and your body was meant to move so movement is very critical," said Bates.

Mulqueen met that challenge and exceeded it. bates said that's why he was chose as the cardiac rehab patient of the year.

"We choose somebody who has enveloped that entire arena who came to us and did their best during this opportunity to be monitored during exercise but has continued to use those healthy habits along their health care journey," she said.

Mulqueen's journey seems to be on the path for great health and wellness.

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