Adding a little romance to cardiac recovery

Hands holding valentine heart © iStockphoto

Posted Feb. 17, 2010

Cardiology patients and their families spent the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 9, at a special Valentine’s dance and dinner in their honor. The event was the fifth sponsored by the health system’s cardiac rehabilitation and preventive cardiology teams, who provided a healthy dinner, dance band and raffle prizes, including wine donated by John Laird, medical director of the Vascular Center, and a painting created by C. Tissa Kappagoda, director of the cardiac rehabilitation program.

Phyllis and Walter Quinn have attended all five annual dances and were celebrating their 64th anniversary at this year’s.

When asked about the secret to a long marriage, Walter said, “Do everything you can together.”

The couple, who met during World War II, participate together in cardiac rehabilitation — Walter following valve-replacement surgery and Phyllis for post heart-attack treatment. The comprehensive program is personalized for each patient and can include monitored exercise and training, nutrition education, stress and anxiety reduction, and support for family members.

The UC Davis Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology Program

Recognized as a leader in cardiac care, UC Davis offers the region’s most effective prevention and rehabilitation program dedicated to vascular and heart health.

The program specializes in preventing, detecting and treating vascular and cardiac problems, with an emphasis on helping people build healthier lives.

For more information about how you can support the program, contact UC Davis Health System Health Sciences Advancement at 916-734-4069.

According to one of the event planners, Trish Matzoll, lifestyle change is the most difficult challenge patients face after a life-altering diagnosis or event.

“We are firm believers in providing support to our patients in helping them do what it takes to become healthier and reduce their risks of developing heart disease or having a secondary event,” said Matzoll, a clinical nurse in preventive cardiology. “The patients enjoy the food, the company and the overall effort. We are so happy to do it. They are all very special to us.”

The dance is one of three annual events — including holiday luncheons in July and December — that cardiac rehabilitation and preventive cardiology hold to help patients with recovery. The events are accomplished entirely through staff volunteers and donations.

Click on photograph for larger version.

Four-piece band for dance © UC Regents   Couple dancing © UC Regents   Couple enjoying dance © UC Regents
Everyone enjoyed the band.   Phyllis and Walter Quinn have fun on the dance floor.   Paulette and Loy Arandela take a break from the dance floor.