Healthy Heart Habits

My name is Ted Smith and I'm from the Flandreau area. I work as an electrical engineer for Sioux Valley Energy out of Colman.

What services did you receive at Brookings Health System?

I had cardiac rehab here. You come in, and you basically exercise under supervision after heart surgery. I had open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic to replace a mechanical heart valve, and I had to come to cardiac rehab after that.

Why did you choose Brookings Health System for cardiac rehab? 

It's probably the most convenient for me. Instead of driving to Sioux Falls or some of the other locations, it's very convenient. The second is I know the care is good here. I've had different things with the Brookings Health System before, and I think the care is very good here in Brookings.

How was your experience with the Cardiac Rehab Department?

They're fantastic to work with. They're just the nicest people, and they were just absolutely great as far as setting up, you know, appointments to when you could see them, and the times when you could come up and do your actual cardiac rehab. I had very good results. When I first got there, I could not do 10 minutes on the bicycle at any speed. And by the time I was done, I was doing 10 minutes on the bike, 10 on the treadmill, and 10 minutes on a stepper machine. So in a matter of eight weeks, that was great.

What did you appreciate most about your cardiac rehab services? 

The way you felt at home from the first moment you walked in. They made you feel at home, you know, they explained everything what was going on. Did a very, very nice job of explaining what was happening, what was going to happen, what you were going to see, you know, over the course of the next eight weeks. And just did a very nice job of making you prepared for everything you were going to see.

What advice would you give to someone after a cardiac event? 

You need to come in with an open mind. If you come in and say, you know, "I don't need this," or, "This isn't for me," you're not going to get the benefits that you could get out of it. If you come in with an open mind, and say, you know...you know, you may say, in your head, "I don't know about this," but come in and say, "I'm going to do my best and going to get the most I can out of this." You will get the most out of it then.

Would you recommend Brookings Health System for Cardiac Rehab? 

I would recommend the Brookings Health System for cardiac rehab. They were absolutely fantastic. Just everybody from the...everyone from the person that did the admitting in the hospital to the folks that worked in cardiac rehab. It was absolutely great.