Healing a Heart: The Road to Recovery (Part III)

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 6, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Most of us don't realize all that goes into recovering after open heart surgery. It's a lot of hard work, work that takes sacrifice and discipline.

Thomas Draper had double bypass heart surgery in May. Since then he's been working hard at University Hospital's Cardio Pulmonary Rehab facility.

But exercise alone isn't going to get him healed. His diet is also equally as important. "They're both important, I don't see you doing one without doing the other," says Thomas.

And nurse Janet Sewell agrees, both are crucial to long term health. "If they can keep up the diet and the exercise it will greatly reduce their chance they will have those events in the future," says Janet.

They even have classes so heart patients can learn how to change their eating habits. "It's not what you eat one day, it's what you eat every day," says Janet.

Now we all know when we go out to eat, especially with a group we don't always go to the healthiest place, but even pizza places have plenty of healthy options on the menu.

So Thomas chooses to eat healthy, ordering a Greek salad. "It looks like more than I can eat," says Thomas. "Yeah, it's the big one isn't it," replies his waitress.

It may be big, but eating healthy is worth it, when it tastes this good. "That is a good salad," sighs Thomas.

Now Thomas says, he isn't perfect, he does eat a little ice cream every now and then. "You can have anything you want to eat as long as you eat it in moderation," says Thomas.

While Thomas is nearly back to his old self again, he knows he has to keep working hard and not slip up. "You can workout very hard and get in real top shape but it only takes a week to get out of shape and the same thing with your diet," says Thomas.

Thomas has just a few weeks left of rehab, but he plans on continuing the workout after that. He also says he wishes he had taken better care of himself -- before all this.

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