My name is JoAnn Wilkins. In November 2012, I was diagnosed with Chronic Systolic Heart Failure, which means my heart muscle was very weak. I had several medical procedures and eventually returned to work in April 2013. My job is very high stress, requiring long hours and sometimes working six days a week. I had trouble keeping up with the workload. Ultimately, it was too much for me and I had to take early retirement in May 2014.
During this time I became weaker and more unsteady. My balance was quite bad and I began falling frequently. In July 2014, Dr. Duncan sent me to cardiac rehab to help improve my energy and balance and help reduce my stress. I started therapy at the Cardiac Rehab gym at Medical City Plano at that time. After completing doctor's orders I was given the opportunity to continue using the gym. The staff encouraged me to do many of the programs they offer. I started with a weekly Weight Machine class. The staff worked with me one on one until I was comfortable using the weight machines. (I now do this twice a week!)
I attended the eight-week class "A Matter of Balance" to help with my balance and stability. I continue to work on this in the Stability Ball Class that MCP staff offers. I now also attend the MCP Tai Chi classes two days a week. Since beginning these classes I have not fallen once!
I have not been on a diet but lost 20 pounds the first year. At my last checkup with my doctor I had lost an additional 17 pounds. I even lost weight during the holidays which I have never done before! I am now eating less, am healthier and feeling better than I have felt in years.
I have to thank the nurses, therapists, and trainers for my results. The staff is always there to support me and have helped me reach my goals. Medical City Plano is the highlight of my day.