The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 8, 2012

How do you spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s?


TARBORO — Determined? Motivated? Meet Ethel Hannon, 71-year-old Scotland Neck resident, who recently graduated with flying colors from the Vidant Edgecombe Hospital pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Hannon suffered a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and was referred to the program by her physician, Dr. Jeffrey A. Silver. She arrived using a wheelchair for her initial assessment and in the early stages of the program. “When I came in, I could hardly breathe,” she said . “That’s why I had to use the wheelchair.” Hannon is an amputee with a prosthetic lower leg. “I felt so tired and bad before this program.”

At the end of the program, Hannon showed significant overall success. She lost a total of 17.1 pounds, five inches in her waist, and greater than 10 percent of her body fat. Her overall endurance and strength improved by 172 percent on the Nu-Step machine, 233 percent on the arm ergometer and 133 percent on track walking. “I would definitely recommend this program to others,” she said. “It helped me! The workers are very, very nice and the program has, without a doubt, met my goals. I feel very proud.”

After successfully completing the program, Hannon left walking on her own without the use of an assistive device and with significant improvement in her breathing.  

But her success doesn’t end there. Hannon is continuing a tailored exercise program at home to maintain her health.

The pulmonary rehabilitation program at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital includes a team of specialists: a medical director, registered nurse, respiratory care practitioner, exercise physiologist, registered dietitian and a psychological Aassociate, all of whom are licensed and certified in the state of North Carolina.

Candidates for the program include persons who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or asthma, congestive heart failure and any other chronic lung disease which may cause shortness of breath or fatigue. The program includes supervised exercise classes three times per week for up to 12 weeks, education on how to better manager pulmonary diseases, strategies for improving breathing techniques, nutrition counseling, stress management and more.

To learn more about the program, call 641-8668.