Eleven years ago heart patients at Mount Druitt Hospital had only a walking track to get them back into shape. Things certainly have changed.
TODAY there is a fully-equipped gym in the cardiac rehabilitation ward at Mount Druitt Hospital, thanks to Blacktown Mount Druitt Cardiac Support Group.
The recent donation of two exercise bikes and a blood pressure measuring machine through Rooty Hill RSL Club’s community-expenditure scheme now completes the gym. It has five treadmills, five exercise bikes, a step-up machine, two grinders, two recumbent bikes, 20 sets of weights, digital scales and two-way radios for the nurses.
The cardiac support group, established for patients recovering from heart surgery at Mount Druitt, soon expanded to include Blacktown.
Patients with heart attack histories attend the program twice a week to build up strength and get advice on avoiding further attacks. Four weekly sessions are held at Mount Druitt.
Blackett resident and heart attack survivor Barry Robson is president and one of the five founding members.
‘‘Only two people from the program I know of have since died from heart conditions,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s vital to have this group in Mount Druitt, which has one of the highest heart attack rates in NSW.
‘‘If it wasn’t for this group, most patients would be sent home from hospital and do nothing for the rest of their lives.’’
The group has raised funds for equipment and the RSL club has contributed to the gym over 10 years.
‘‘Most of the group are club members so it’s great to see them getting something back from the club they support.’’