• Welcyon

Heart Felt Good Health

Heart Felt Good Health "David has shed 25 pounds and two inches from his waist, and his jowls and double chin have melted away." David E.

Overweight, out of shape, and suffering from heart disease, David wondered if he'd see another Christmas

The day David Erusha's heart stopped he was hauling furniture off his deck, getting ready for winter.

“I have no idea what happened,” David recalls, “but when I awoke I was on the floor in the den and my wife was standing over me.”

Rushed to the ER by ambulance, he was admitted to the cardio unit for observation. His heart stopped thirteen more times that day. Over the next three days, a team of doctors worked to stabilize the symptoms of cardiac arrest, and sent him home on Thanksgiving Day.

“I thought I had a lot to be thankful for,” said the spry and youthful 65-year-old, “but I wasn't out of the woods yet—not by a long shot.”

Merry Christmas from the Cardiac Unit

On Christmas morning, David's heart stopped again. Readmitted to the hospital for a longer stay, he emerged with a brand new pacemaker, and more than a few pearls of strongly worded wisdom from his doctors.

“You're overweight, you don't eat right, and you don't exercise, they told me. It's time for some serious changes—or you might not see another Christmas.”

It was a hard reality check for the former college baseball champion. Throughout his long career marketing military electronics systems, he'd prided himself on keeping trim and fit. It was only as retirement approached that he fell out of shape.

Although he was already a self-described “card-carrying” member of Welcyon, he had never actually worked out at the club. All that changed in the New Year.

Losing Weight and Getting Stronger

More than two years later, he exercises at Welcyon four or five times a week. He's taken up bike riding, and enjoys running after his grandkids, and playing rough and tumble with them in the yard.

David has shed 25 pounds and two inches from his waist, and his jowls and double chin have melted away.

“All this from a guy who died 15 times in one day,” he laughed. “Sometimes you have to be kicked pretty hard in the head before you know what's going on. I had a real wakeup call, and got another shot at living. A lot of guys aren't so lucky.”

Bringing All the Pieces Together Through Community

And while fitness and good health are huge motivators for working out, it's the club's strong sense of community that keeps him coming back.

“Don and I capture our own corner of the gym every morning,” David said, referring to his 80-year-old workout partner and fellow heart-disease survivor. “We might laugh a lot while we're exercising, but we take it seriously. We work our butts off.”

When the workout's done, the pals often socialize over a cup of coffee, and exchange some good-natured razzing with members who are assembling beautiful landscapes from jumbled jigsaw pieces. It's an apt metaphor, David says, for the puzzle building Welcyon helps members do with their own lives.

“A few weeks ago I went to Mayo Clinic for a conference on healthy aging,” he explained. “The experts said that working out, socializing, and brain stimulation are the puzzle pieces you've got to put together to stay healthy when you're over 55. And that's exactly what's going on at this club.”

©2019 by Welcyon, Fitness for life.