GREAT FALLS — Benefis Health System in Great Falls is celebrating National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. The Benefis Cardiac Rehab Center creates regimens for patients to foster a healthy lifestyle of surviving a cardiac event.
Keven LeFurgey is a 39-year-old patient who has been on a regimen for five week after surviving a heart attack. LeFurgey said he never expected his symptoms meant something so severe: “I just had tight chest and then I had some shooting pains down my arms that was about it. Just weird tingles running down my arms every now and then.”
Since his start with Benefis, LeFurgey has lost 25 pounds. “I just want to be healthier than I am now. Keep getting healthier and continue on with life. My motivation for the future is to be around for my family and just enjoy as much life as I can.”
Dan Spurgin is an 89-year-old patient who said he felt no pain when his heart attack hit and almost didn’t catch it in time.
“Well I was just doing stuff in my shop and I had a little bit of heart burn. This arm and this arm felt a little bit funny but I didn’t pay attention to it. By noon I was in there having my two stints put in. The doctor said if I didn’t come in soon I wouldn’t have made it. You hear heart attack and think ‘Oh God that hurts!’ But no, it didn’t,” said Dan Spurgin.
Spurgin has been with Benefis Cardiac Rehab for two months. He lost 20 pounds and gained his strength back. “They’ve got me on a regimen I think is great. I feel better and stronger and doing everything I want to do now,” said Spurgin.
The Cardiac Rehab Center uses heart monitors on patients as they work out to help build strength in a safe environment.”
“When they come here and they start exercising with other folks that have similar situations, they find out that they’re not the only one having this going on. They start to relax a little bit. So it’s a bit of a support group as well as getting their stamina back,” said Pam Crisp, Benefis cardiac Rehab Coordinator.
The Cardiac Rehab Center is currently caring for 40 patients. February is American Heart Month, and Benefis is celebrating Cardiac Rehab Week through February 20.