Thrive by IU Health

January 18, 2024

"It was like family taking care of me”

IU Health Saxony Hospital

By Emma Avila,, writer for IU Health’s Indianapolis Suburban Region

IU Health Saxony maintenance technician, Benjamin Reynolds, expresses gratitude to his hospital colleagues after undergoing open-heart surgery and cardiac rehabilitation following the discovery of a tear in his heart.

When Benjamin Reynolds talks about his recent health journey, he says, “I want to thank my personal lord and savior, Jesus Christ.” Right after that, he will tell you how grateful he is for the team at IU Health Saxony.

Reynolds, who is a maintenance technician for the hospital, is finishing up his last few sessions with the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation team. But his journey began in the fall of 2023.

He was working, walking around the hospital, when he had a feeling of discomfort on the left side of his body. He spoke with a nurse he knows in the Short Stay unit, and she advised he go to the Emergency department.

The team there ordered a stress test and a heart scan, which was performed on September 11. Testing revealed a tear in his heart. The next day, he was at IU Health Methodist, undergoing open-heart surgery. The day after that, he had an additional surgery on an artery in his neck.

“That was truly a blessing that I made it,” Reynolds says. “Had that tear tore, I would have had internal bleeding and could’ve bled out.”

He is especially grateful to the Short Stay and Cath Lab teams for helping him in the process of finding out what was wrong.

After some recovery at home, Reynolds began cardiac rehab. He goes in three times a week to work out while the team there monitors his heart.

“Each patient, based off of their diagnosis, gets an individualized program,” explains Sarah Hunsley, lead exercise physiologist at IU Health Saxony.

Benjamin Reynolds speaking with Sarah Hunsley in cardiac rehab

“We have a multi-disciplinary approach,” adds Michelle Wolf, registered nurse. “That includes nursing, exercise physiology and respiratory therapy.”

Reynolds will soon complete his 24 sessions in cardiac rehab. The team then plans to recruit him into phase three of the program, which is ongoing maintenance.

“I feel pretty good. I give a lot of props to my cardiac rehab team,” Reynolds says. “I feel more energetic. My breathing is a lot better than before.”

Though he went through a terrifying ordeal, he is thankful he was able to get treatment where he works.

“It was to my advantage because it was like family taking care of me.”



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