Heart Attack Survivor Returns To Hospital, Mends HeartsSep 5, 2019
Hope for recovery. Hope for a rich, full life.
That’s the message members of Mended Hearts carry with them as they visit patients in the Heart & Vascular Center at Lakewood Regional Medical Center.
“We are dedicated to inspiring hope in heart disease patients and their families,” said Ron Manriquez, 58, who joined Mended Hearts after being treated for a heart attack at Lakewood Regional.
In 2006, Manriquez was spending a typical Saturday morning at home. But he didn’t feel well, and when the ambulance came and Manriquez’s blood pressure continued to fall, the patient insisted the paramedics take him to Lakewood Regional. Before his heart attack, Manriquez had read that Lakewood Regional had a high-tech cath lab where heart attacks could be reversed.
“They worked on me and I went into the cath lab and had two angioplasties,” he said. “I had a myocardial infarction, or heart attack — it was a 90 percent blockage, and they opened it up.”
Today, the survivor still takes medication for his heart, but he has recovered. And he is out helping others who have gone through similar experiences.
“After that experience I felt compelled to go out and help those in need,” he said. Manriquez is now the assistant director of the Mended Hearts program in Lakewood. He even visits other hospitals in the area to set up new Mended Hearts chapters.
“What I have gotten out of it is joy in the ability to help others in need who have gone through what I have gone through,” he said. “Mended Hearts helps people understand that there is life after heart disease and there are people who can help them.”
Spouting memorized statistics from the American Heart Association, Manriquez said heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans. Which may be why Mended Hearts continues to grow in numbers each year — now boasting about 18,000 members in more than 300 chapters nationwide, he said.
“Basically, we tell them (the patients) there is life after heart disease,” Manriquez said. “It is not a death sentence… We give them tips and educate them about heart disease, procedures, exercise, medication, cholesterol, nutrition and stress management. And a lot of the spouses get involved, too.”
For more information about the Lakewood Chapter of the Mended Hearts Support group, call (800) 813-4345.
To learn more about support groups offered at Lakewood Regional Medical Center, please see our Event Calendar or call (800) 813-4345