Runner hurdles heart attack for personal best


For AIM Media



Provided photo Roger Ely, center, is checked by Theresa Rowley, RN, during a cardiac rehab visit at UVMC while Aaron Christy, right, looks on.

Provided photo Roger Ely, center, is checked by Theresa Rowley, RN, during a cardiac rehab visit at UVMC while Aaron Christy, right, looks on.


TIPP CITY — Roger Ely couldn’t be happier with his time in the 40th Run for the Mums considering he

experienced a heart attack less than a year earlier.

Ely, a Piqua resident and regular runner, finished second in the 55 to 59 age group and 22nd overall among hundreds of runners during the annual run Sept. 29 at the Tipp City Mum Festival.

He attributes part of his success to continued participation in the cardiac rehabilitation program at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC).

“Rehab staff does such a thorough job. They teach education and exercise, which creates the greatest chance for a successful recovery,” Ely said.

He was impressed by the continued monitoring of rehab patients during exercise along with time spent talking about medications and providing education on diet, reducing stress and overall wellness.

The executive director of administrative services for the Bellefontaine City Schools, Ely experienced a heart event while visiting his sister in Tennessee in October 2017. After returning from an afternoon run, he said he felt very dizzy and then began sweating heavily. When asked by his wife if he was having chest pain, Ely said he felt pressure on his chest.

A call to 911 went out immediately. Ely was soon under medics’ care and on his way to a hospital in Williamson County, Tenn. An EKG showed a heart attack so a cardiac catheterization was performed and two stents placed to open a 100 percent blockage.

Ely said he’s been described as a “chicken and broccoli guy” who was physically active but also had a history of heart problems in his family including issues that led to bypass surgeries for both his father and grandfather.

Once home, he started at UVMC cardiac rehab in November and graduated in early February.

Over the months, he gradually returned to running, preparing for his seventh Run for the Mums.

“Last year, I had done my best time. That was my goal this year,” he said. “I made it within 35 seconds of my best time so I am OK with that. I am just happy to be out here among the runners.”

After graduating from the rehab program, Ely said he chose to continue participating and visits the exercise room at least once a week.

“I am very thankful for the program. Staff is great at creating an inviting sense of friendly community that makes it easy to return. I would strongly recommend to anyone facing a heart event recovery to check out the program and allow staff to design a program that meets their individual recovery needs,” he said.

For more information on Upper Valley Medical Center’s cardiac rehabilitation program, visit https://www.uvmc.com/heart.

Provided photo Roger Ely, center, is checked by Theresa Rowley, RN, during a cardiac rehab visit at UVMC while Aaron Christy, right, looks on.
https://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2018/10/web1_roger-ely-1.jpgProvided photo Roger Ely, center, is checked by Theresa Rowley, RN, during a cardiac rehab visit at UVMC while Aaron Christy, right, looks on.

For AIM Media