Patients Dedication to Pulmonary Rehabilitation is Life Changing

This spring, Raymond Carey, age 87, of Flushing, and Ruthann Ennis, age 78, of Clio, mark impressive anniversaries in regard to their health. Both are aware that the combination of an accredited, quality program with outstanding staff, and their devotion to it for nearly 18 and 20 years respectively, has kept them alive during that time. The two were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Raymond received the news in 2000 and was referred to McLaren Flint’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program by his pulmonologist. Ruthann was diagnosed in 1998 and after trying another program first, she found out about McLaren’s and decided to check it out for herself.

“Pulmonary rehabilitation is a way of life when you have COPD,” states Raymond. “You cannot ever quit, because after only a couple of weeks you can lose all of the strength you have gained in three months of working out. Plus, you could not have better staff helping you out along the way. I have been strong enough to battle several bouts of pneumonia over the years and I still help my wife cook, clean, do dishes and vacuum.”

Prior to coming to McLaren Flint’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, Ruthann thought she was going to live the rest of her life as a disabled person. It was even difficult for her to bend over and tie her shoes. She thought she would have to start purchasing slip-on foot wear. When she went to the gym for the first time and looked around, she remembers noticing that no one there was wearing slip-on shoes. It changed her attitude immediately. For nearly two decades Ruthann has been able to survive lung surgery, bowel surgery, and illnesses like the H1N1 flu.

“This is a progressive disease and I know how important exercise is to prevent it from getting worse,” states Ruthann. “If you can control the disease, you can live to your normal life expectancy. You learn from others here and the staff specializes in lung issues, so they can help you with your medications or with solving problems you may encounter at home. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a way of life for me, but it’s why I have a life.”

These two devotees continue to show up to the gym twice a week, year-round. They admit it’s easier leaving the gym than it is coming to it, but both stress the important things in life are worth your time and effort! They emphasize how fortunate they feel that McLaren Flint offers a maintenance program, as many pulmonary rehab programs do not.

McLaren Flint’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program was one of the first across the country to be accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The program continues to be a recognized leader in the care of pulmonary patients. Our medical staff works closely with transplant programs. It has been improving patients’ lives for over 38 years.

The McLaren Flint Pulmonary Rehab Program can be reached by calling 810-342-5370.