Welcome To The
San Juan Islands Mended Hearts Group
Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center
in the Conference Room at 10 a.m.
I am Rick Rubin, a San Juan Island resident, cardiac heart surgery survivor and a trained volunteer for Mended Hearts. Great, but what is a Mended Heart?
My introduction was in February 2013. Thinking I was healthy, other than slight chest congestion and at my family physicians firm suggestion, I took his challenge submitting to a stress test. With no prior family history, normal EKG and blood tests, always watched my diet and not overweight, I thought this would be just routine. To my utter surprise I failed. I did not even last 5 minutes on the tread mill. My doctor was so right and four days later, gads, quadruple bypass surgery. Extreme life changing.
Prior to surgery I met physicians’ assistant Paul Smith, and Mended Hearts. Paul is a heart patient survivor and founding member of Mended Hearts chapter at St Joseph Hospital Bellingham. It was very comforting to speak with someone who had gone through this process and we spoke for some time. More like I talked and asked questions while he listened. I was so impressed with Paul and the Mended Hearts Program that I now help others through this life changing experience.
Our Bellingham, bases chapter, formed Oct. 2012, is a part of the 64 year old all-volunteer national Mended Hearts and Little Mended Hearts organization. Members are heart procedure survivors and their caregivers. This makes us uniquely qualified to provide understanding, support and hope to heart patients from diagnoses through recovery. Peace Health, St Joseph Medical center thought so highly of the program, they integrated it into the pre and post-operative procedures.
With an aging population and more patients coming from the Anacortes, Oak Harbor and the San Juan Islands, our chapter now has trained volunteers living in these communities available to help.
First and foremost get regular checkups and tell your physician of any and all concerns even the small ones. In my case, it was lifesaving.
It feels great to give back. For more information or to speak with a volunteer...visit www.mendedhearts-bellingham.com. Or call me, Rick Rubin in Friday Harbor, at 378-3774, or Marilynn Huffman, our President, at 360-933-1282