The Woodlands Hospital Team Brings Avid Rower Back to His Boat

Kevin Suter has been rowing since he was 12 years old. However, at age 55, his active lifestyle did not prepare him for what occurred on April 24, 2018. While rowing on Lake Woodlands, Kevin experienced his second heart attack, leading to a brief hospital visit where the doctors concluded only minimal heart damage occurred. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Kevin knew something more serious was wrong as he continued to experience significant pain upon being released from the hospital. He decided to call his primary doctor and cardiologist, Dr. Margit Nemeth, at CHI St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital, who recommended he come in for some tests. After observation and an echocardiogram, Dr. Nemeth and her team confirmed Kevin’s heart was capable of only 20-25 percent of its normal function. After a three-day hospital stay, he received a defibrillator vest, and a 36-session rehabilitation process began shortly after.

Kevin and his rehab team worked diligently at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at The Woodlands Hospital beginning in mid-May. Kevin was adamant about recovering, showing the team he was capable of doing more than the average rehab patient, and together, they found the right balance of challenge and ease. Kevin was back to work just after Memorial Day, and his 90-day check-up echocardiogram revealed a 15-percent increase in his heart function. Kevin’s results validated the efforts made by him and his team.

“Once we went into the emergency room, they really took care of me from there,” says Kevin on his experience with The Woodlands Hospital team. Now, nearly four months since beginning rehab, Kevin has lost 50 pounds and “[feels] better than [he] has in decades.” The defibrillator vest, aptly known as “The Anchor” by Kevin, is no longer necessary, and he is back in the boat.

Kevin credits the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at The Woodlands Hospital for his quick recovery. As the first program to earn accreditation from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACPR) in Southeast Texas, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at The Woodlands Hospital offers a progressive and multidisciplinary approach for cardiac rehabilitation.