Got stamina? A little more every day, cardiac patient says

Greg Masuga with his granddaughersTuscola’s Greg Masuga didn’t realize how badly he needed some time off. His body made sure he got the memo.

“I was doing a lot of traveling, working on four jobs that all had to be done at once,” he said of the days leading up to a lifesaving heart procedure in June.

“Going through all this does allow you that frame of mind to slow down and let your body heal.”

“All this” could have been much worse.

An almost completely blocked artery to Masuga’s heart led to a cardiac catheterization. At Carle, board-certified interventional cardiologists perform non-surgical procedures like this to treat cardiovascular disease.

This summer, Carle Heart & Vascular Institute earned full Accreditation for Cardiovascular ExcellenceTM  (ACE) for cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention (also called angioplasty). Carle outperforms most hospitals when it comes to delivering speedy care, which is essential for preserving heart muscle during a heart attack.

ACE accreditation acknowledges that Carle:

  • Maintains the highest standards of quality care
  • Follows nationally accepted best-practice guidelines
  • Provides post-procedure care that meets nationally accepted gold standards

Masuga is just one of many real-world examples of what that really means.

Greg Masuga with grandchildrenIt means he’s here to watch his 6- and 9-year-old granddaughters dance in the basement and ride bikes in the driveway. Because cardiac catheterization patients like Masuga recover quickly, he and the girls are back to enjoying the free-flowing variety when he watches them one day a week in Mattoon.

“The girls are bigger. I’m not rocking babies and changing diapers anymore, so I can keep up with them again,” Masuga said. “I’m getting my stamina back.”

Thirty-six cardiac rehabilitation sessions means Masuga is working hard at Carle. He spends time on the treadmill and does knee presses and free weights to continue to rebuild his heart strength.

“Rehab is going really well. I’m free to do anything as long as I pay attention to what my body is telling me and pace myself,” he said.

Some of the hard work, though, is more mental. Slowing down and taking a long hard look at his life wasn’t easy, but Masuga offers words of advice for those whose bodies tell them that’s necessary.

“It’s obviously a low, so depression could sneak in,” he said. “But it’s like riding a bike. Sometimes you get knocked off. You’ll get back on.

“Depression, pity and guilt are human nature. Your body went through a lot of trauma. And your body and your mind need time to recover.”

Greg Masuga and familyAchieving accreditation shows patient outcomes like Masuga’s meet or exceed those of comparable facilities that follow medical best practices.

“We do this for our patients, but I want to give credit where credit is due for our staff,” said HVI's Dr. Naveed Adoni. “Gaining this accreditation was hard work on top of the hard work we already do.

"While we believe working at the top of our licensure and providing skilled and innovative care to help our patients is enough, we appreciate the recognition, as well.”