Trenton resident recovers from heart transplant with help from Capital Health Cardiac Rehabilitation
Today, Emory Ross feels confident enough to do his walking in the park near his house, but just a few years ago the most basic exercise was enough to stop him in his tracks.
Three years ago, Emory knew something wasn’t right. A trip downstairs took half an hour. His heart was only working at 10 percent. He had 40 pounds of fluid on his heart. For years, he had uncontrolled high blood pressure and now he had no energy and wasn’t able to sleep.
“I went to a hospital that does heart transplants in Philadelphia and in five minutes, the doctor said I needed a transplant. Usually they require a series of tests to know for sure, but because my condition was so bad, they knew right away,” Emory said.
Emory was on an infusion pack from July 2013 until February 2015 when he got the call that a compatible donor was found.
“I went in for surgery almost immediately, and about a week later, I was fully conscious and talking. On February 20, I went home,” he said.
With help from a home care nurse, he followed his discharge plan and continued to go to follow-up visits every two weeks to his doctor. By June, his doctor deemed him fit to start cardiac rehabilitation.
“I started looking online to see what programs I could find close to home, because I didn’t want to go to Philadelphia. I found out through a list I got from my doctor that Capital Health was starting a new program. When I heard this, I called to see if they would take me,” Emory said.
Emory was one of the first patients to enroll at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, located at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, which provides individually prescribed education and exercise for people with heart disease who are recovering from a heart-related illness, surgery or other treatment procedures. The center is part of the Capital Health Heart & Vascular Institute, which provides comprehensive heart and vascular care in one convenient location — Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.
He started in late July and completed the program in November, around Thanksgiving.
“I was sick of being in hospitals but the staff was very knowledgeable, very helpful and they cared so much about my progress. It was also nice being able to get the exercise I need in a safe environment under professional supervision. Now I know my baseline and what I need to do to continue to progress,” Emory said.
Emory has been married to his wife Janice for almost 20 years. They have two daughters (a freshman and a junior in high school) and one son (a college graduate living in Phillipsburg, PA). The care Emory received through Capital Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center is helping him continue to get stronger and enjoy his family, which is the most important piece of the puzzle for him.
“I’m continuing to work hard to get to the point where I can keep up with my kids,” Emory said.