'I love coming here': A new addition to new Heart and Vascular Institute at Pikeville Medical Center

PIKE COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - When you first walk in, it may appear to look like a regular gym. Now at Pikeville Medical Center is a new Cardiac facility. Through support from staff and nurses, patients are able to resume daily activities once completing the program.

"I actually enjoy coming. I only have about a third of a heart muscle left, that is why I am so adamant about coming here," said Timothy Slone, a cardiac patient at Pikeville Medical Center.

Slone had his first heart attack at the age of 39. While Slone can do these exercises in the comfort of his home, he says he knows better than to do that.

"It's so easy to say no at home but here you're gone do it," he said.

Not only is doing the work that rehab requires important, but the education behind it becomes a self-motivator.

"If they understand what is going on they are more likely to make those lifestyle changes," said Angel Jude, a nurse practitioner at Pikeville Medical Center.

With more than 15 years of experience and a family history of stints, her job has become personal. She ensures patients take full advantage of their rehab, including the educational aspect.

Inside the new cardiac facility is also a new education room.

"We have dietary classes. Show them how much fat, sugar, and salt is in certain foods. This is actually a stint. So the patients that have a stint actually want to know what they have, so we show them, this is a stint," said Jude.

Jude explains that when a patient has a visual representation of what is going on in their body they are more likely to understand and be more willing to follow directions.

Across the room on the airdyne is James Stapleton. He is in stage three of rehab, a voluntary maintenance program. Stapleton recently graduated from stage two which is rehabilitation three times a week for 36 sessions.

"I used to have cowboys as heroes but now it is doctors and nurses," exclaimed Stapleton. "It's really a great place. They monitor you until you get stronger and stronger."

And the stronger you are the healthier you are.

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