The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


December 30, 2013

Midgette proof CVPR program gets results

RALEIGH — Last fall, things looked grim for Tarboro resident Caroline Midgette.

Over a 20-year period, she’d experienced four heart attacks, had four stints and one pacemaker. After her last heart attack in September, Midgette’s health began declining significantly. In the past, she had bounced back fairly quickly from heart attacks, but this time she noticed things just weren’t improving. By Thanksgiving, her sons held a family meeting and had a discussion about their mom’s health, worried they wouldn’t have her for much longer.

That is when things began to turn around for Midgette. She spoke with her physician, cardiologist Dr. Hassan Alhosaini, and they both agreed that it would be in her best interest to enter the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program (CVPR) at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital. This could only help her gain strength from a point when she seemed frail and weak at best.

Midgette started in the hospital’s CVPR program in early March, with an initial goal of gaining enough strength to attend her grandson’s spring wedding in West Virginia. With determination and a strong will, she completed 36 sessions in a three-month period, attending the program’s scheduled thrice-weekly workout sessions.

“He pushed me and nudged me along,” Midgette says of Jerome Bacon, exercise physiologist in the CVPR Program. “He gave me what he thought I could do, and it worked!”  

Over the course of the program, Midgette not only gained her strength, but also managed to lose four inches in her waist and 16 pounds.

“On the first day of the program, I could only walk three laps around the rehab area and I didn’t think I could even complete that. At the end of the program, I was walking 16 laps and could absolutely do more,” Midgette proudly explained.

“My goal at first was just to be able to attend my grandson’s wedding in May. But by May, I am proud to say that not only did I attend the wedding, but was able to dance to the song ‘Sweet Caroline’ with my middle son.”

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it by the end of last year,” Midgette said. “Now, with the help of my rehab team at Vidant, I was excited to be able to ride the train at Thanksgiving to visit my family.”

Midgette is a retired engineer for a nuclear power plant. She now lives in Tarboro with her son, artist Russell Yerkes, and is a volunteer at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital. She is also a very talented artist, with several paintings soon to be available for sale in the hospital’s gift shop. She maintains an active exercise routine at the hospital, and is extremely pleased with her improved quality of life.

Candidates for the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program at the hospital include people who have congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, chest pain, or who have a history of heart attack or heart surgery. Candidates for the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program include people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or asthma, and any other chronic lung disease that may cause shortness of breath or fatigue.

The CVPR Program can help improve the quality of life through better overall health, weight loss, decreased depression, decreased emotional stress and anxiety, increased self-esteem and a sense of wellbeing. The CVPR Program includes supervised exercise classes three times per week for up to 12 weeks, education on how to better manage pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases and control cardiovascular risk factors, strategies for improving breathing techniques, nutrition counseling, and stress management. The team of specialists includes a medical director, registered nurse, respiratory care practitioner, exercise physiologist, registered dietician and a psychological associate; all which are licensed and certified in the State of North Carolina. The program requires a doctor’s evaluation and a referral to enroll. For more information about the CVPR program, call 641-8668.


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