Noel O’Sullivan (2018)
“In April, 2017, I collapsed twice at home. Prior to this I had no symptoms of cardiac issues; such as chest pains or similar problems. I visited my local G.P. later that day and after having an ECG check I was advised to go to the Mater Private hospital, Dublin. The cardiologist informed me that I was a person he classified as someone with “a classic case of angina”. He said he would be inserting four stents immediately. The operation was successful. I was put on medication (six tablets) daily for one year; at least.
This whole issue came as a total shock. I felt I was close to the “end of the road” and that many of the things I was doing up to then were coming to an end. I felt I would be unlikely to visit relatives and friends at the other end of the country and would be unlikely to get abroad for a sunshine holiday.
Some time later I was asked, by the team involved in the PATHway Research Study, if I would be interested in taking part. I was delighted as I felt that such studies might be able to improve similar cases to my own when the results of the programme were analysed. I also felt that by giving the programme my best efforts that I would find some improvement in my own health.
I was supplied with a computer and other equipment under the PATHway programme and received clear and practical instructions from the DCU staff on how to use them.
I have now received a summary document outlining the assessments I took part in. The results of the assessments are giving me some satisfaction. I feel that my health has improved as a result of decreasing my Body Mass Index; improving my Aerobic fitness; body strength and in some other areas also.
I know I have much more work to do and having studied the Assessments Report I will continue to work on from where I am now; so that much further improvements should follow.
It is obvious to me that if I had not partaken in the PATHway programme I would not have known what to do to try to improve my health and fitness. I would, most likely, have drifted back to my “own old ways” and the consequences would probably have been disastrous.
So, finally, I would like to congratulate all the staff involved in the PATHway programme for the highly efficient system they have developed. It was clearly explained to us what was wanted and I was left in no doubt that the benefits would be obvious; if I complied with the terms of the programme. I feel much better and I have every intention of continuing to follow these guidelines for the foreseeable future. It was a pleasure working with a team of professionals. Good luck with the programme into the future and thanks”.
Cathal Boylan (2018)
“I had a heart attack in April 2017 at the age of 47. Thankfully, I survived, but the whole event came as a very big shock to me, as there were no prior indicators. Luckily the Mater Hospital in Dublin ran an excellent cardio rehab programme which I started around 8 weeks after my heart attack and which ran for 8 weeks. The cardio rehab programme gave me confidence in my ability to get fit again. As I neared the end of the Mater cardio rehab programme, I was very focussed on exercise as a contributor to both my continued recovery and future prevention of further heart problems. The PATHway programme came at just the right time, as it offered a structured, supervised programme for a further six months.
What I liked about PATHway was that I could structure my exercise regime as I wanted it, so as to fit in around both family and work life. The online classes weren’t necessarily of great interest to me, as I preferred being outdoors (even during the winter!) and working exercise in to my commute home. The Microsoft wrist band was the key for me here, as it allowed me to capture all the exercise that I did, whenever I did it. Loading it up to the PATHway system then gave me a good overview of how I was progressing, week-to-week. Another feature of the PATHway programme that I liked was the regular check-in, which consisted of two mornings of tests at the beginning, middle and end of the six month period. Having completed the initial, baseline testing, I was very focussed on improving my overall fitness ahead of the middle and final tests. Having these milestones out there ahead of me kept me going, and – thankfully – I did improve my fitness throughout the period, which felt like a real achievement.
Now that the PATHway programme has ended for me, I am not worried about falling back on my exercise regime: the cardio rehab and PATHway programmes combined have had me exercising for the last nine months, and I think I have established a good routine to keep up my exercise in the future, because I’ve seen the results. That’s why I would recommend the PATHway programme to everybody who has a heart condition, but especially people (like me) who need some help in putting a structure around their exercise regime. Rather than being told of the benefits of regular exercise, experience them for yourself. It really does make a world of difference, not just to your heart, but to your life as a whole”.