IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

Two hearts united by heart health

Patient Story

They were both widowed and recovering from heart surgery when a Muncie couple met and married on Valentine’s Day.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

Edwin “Bruce” Moore fights back tears as he tells about his first date with Sandy Ellis Moore. His wife gives him a sympathetic look and encourages him to continue his story.

The story is this: Bruce Moore was working out in cardiac rehab at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital when he set eyes on Ellis. A fellow rehab participant hosted a party at a beautiful lake house. Moore invited Ellis to go as his date and the two were inseparable after that. Ellis had previously been married for 47 years. Moore had been married for 44 years. Both of their spouses died from complication of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I wasn’t looking for anyone to date, let alone get married to,” said Sandy. But when Moore drove up in his gray Pontiac G6 convertible, and held her hand as they walked around the lake, she was smitten. They dated two years and were married 11 years ago on Valentine’s Day at First Presbyterian Church in Muncie. Sandy wore a lavender dress and carried a bouquet of roses. Bruce wore a pinstripe suit and a red rose on his lapel. The newlyweds honeymooned at West Baden and took an extended vacation to Hilton Head.

Both Bruce and Sandy were in cardiac rehab after undergoing stent procedures at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. A coronary artery stent is a small metal mesh tube that expands a coronary artery to allow adequate blood flow to the heart.

February is American Heart Month – a time to raise awareness about heart disease and heart health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. About 647,000 American die from heart disease each year – that’s one in four deaths. Several factors contribute to heart disease including: Diabetes, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use.

Since they became husband and wife, the Moores stay active by visiting state parks, playing cards, and participating in community activities. Sandy Moore retired from Ball Memorial Hospital where she worked as a unit secretary in the progressive care unit. Bruce retired from Cardinal Greenways, Indiana’s longest span of recreational trails – spanning 62 miles. They enjoy attending Muncie Civic Theater productions, shows at Emens Auditorium, and basketball and football games at Ball State University. They also keep active attending their grandchildren’s sporting events.

Together they have eight children; 18 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

How do they celebrate their anniversary? This year they’ll attend a Valentine’s Day dinner at Glad Tidings Church.

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