Gaurav Ahuja, 42, had recently had his annual physical when he began experiencing chest pain following a morning walk. He had no issues with cholesterol or blood pressure and had received a clean bill of health from his primary care physician, but the chest pain was becoming excruciating.

He called 9-1-1 and the ambulance took him to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, where his care team told him that he was in the middle of a heart attack.

The next moment he remembers is being in the operating room, where a team of surgeons discovered that his main artery was 100-percent blocked and required a stent. He later found out they call this type of blockage a “widow maker,” with only a 5 percent chance of survival for someone his age.

Gaurav spent just two days in the hospital before going home to begin recovery with Shady Grove’s Center for Fitness and Health.

The Center for Fitness and Health looks like a standard gym with cardio equipment and weight training areas, but Shady Grove’s cardiac rehab facility offers much more than a workout. Patients receive nurse-monitored, individualized exercise and education programs to prevent the progression of heart disease and improve quality of life after a major cardiac event.

“Cardiac rehab was the best thing to happen to me,” he says. “I had a gym membership, but there is no way that I’d have the courage to run a 6-mile pace, by myself, at my own gym without having the monitors and professional care around me.”

Because the cardiac rehab gym is staffed with medical professionals and is just steps away from Shady Grove’s Emergency Department, he also felt confident exercising and running again. He knew that he’d be able to receive immediate care if something were to happen.

Following his major medical event, Gaurav has a new perspective on life.

“It’s very confusing because all of our lives we chase being successful, being rich and prosperous. Nobody focuses on being happy. We are so engrossed in living our lives and providing for our families. With this near-death experience, I want to chase happy wherever I can find it.”

 

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