Change for the Better

cardiac rehabilitation patient sherry murphy laughingWhen Sherry Murphy, 61, of Detroit, got home from her vacation to Georgia, she thought she would unpack her things and wind down for the evening. There were different plans for her that evening, however.

As she began to settle back in at home, she found herself getting easily winded and perspiring. Sherry knew something was not right. She carefully walked over to her neighbor’s house and asked to be driven to the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital, which is close to Sherry’s home. Once she arrived she was admitted immediately — Sherry was having a heart attack.

She needed three stents put into the right side of her heart. During her hospital stay, there were many doctors and nurses that were by her side, Sherry says “one physician, Dr. Gayathri Iyer, really made a difference. Dr. Iyer was the most honest, straightforward, easy to talk to and really stood out to me.”

“When I came out of the hospital, life began again.”

She knew her lifestyle had to change. Her doctors recommended she enroll into the cardiac rehabilitation program, under the direction of Dr. Dennis Kerrigan and Robert Berry, at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine.

“I wasn’t into exercise. I thought I was ‘Wonderwoman’ and I was so busy that I didn’t need it. But I prayed and asked for inspiration to join this program and really go at it with my whole heart,” she says.

Through cardiac rehab, she was introduced to a nutritionist who gave her tips, tricks and ideas as to how to lead a healthier new lifestyle. “My new frame of mind took me away from just existing and really helped me pay attention to everything — how I was eating, the calorie content of foods and ways to cook foods in a healthier style,” says Sherry. “The staff there is a God-send. I really feel as though they operate with the ‘love one another as I have loved you’ mindset.”

Because of her treatment, Sherry feels she is able to appreciate herself again “Before, I put everyone else first and put myself and my health on the backburner. Now I have no trouble saying no to things and what isn’t good for myself and my health.” 

From what Sherry learned in the cardiac rehab program, she was also able to recognize her neighbor’s health issues. She recommended he get an appointment with a doctor and it turned out he was having heart issues, too.

Sherry’s tip for others going through the same health issues is to listen to what your body tells you and if you feel like you’re changing — and it’s not for the better — go get yourself checked out. You deserve to.

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